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Indonesian police declare war against unlicensed guns
Publication Date : 14-08-2013
Indonesia's National Police will crack down on illegal possession of firearms following a series of shootings against police officers and prison guards.
National Police deputy chief Comr. Gen. Oegroseno said on Tuesday that strict law enforcement would be imposed on those possessing illegal firearms. “We will intensify our precautionary measures. Those who are fooling around with firearms will face legal proceedings,” Oegroseno told reporters at National Police headquarters on Tuesday.
Oegroseno admitted that the authorities had not been vigilant enough in dealing with the spike of cases of armed violence. “[The public] needs to understand that some crimes always happen one step ahead of us. We have taken a number of measures to prevent it. It doesn’t mean that we just sit and wait until a crime happens. Sometimes we are just not fast enough,” he said. “We are more vigilant now,” he added.
As previously reported, police officer Adj. Second Insp. Patah Saktiyono was shot by an unidentified man in Ciputat, Tangerang, on July 27.
The terror continued on August 5 when a group of unidentified people shot at the entrance door of Baturaja prison in Ogan Komering Ulu regency, South Sumatra, at around midnight. No casualties were reported in the incident as prison guards were preparing pre-dawn meals in the prison’s dining hall.
Two days later, Cilandak Police precinct officer Adj. First Insp. Dwiyatna, who was heading to Lebak Bulus Mosque in South Jakarta, was shot in the back of the head by an unidentified gunman.
Agus Susatyo, a prison guard at Yogyakarta penitentiary (locally known as the Wirogunan prison) was also shot by an unidentified man on the same day. The guard suffered bullet wounds to the chest and abdomen.
The police also recorded 11 shootings that occurred in Kulon Progo, Bantul and Yogyakarta between August 1 and 10. The perpetrators allegedly possessed air soft guns and unlicensed firearms.
The police deployed teams to pursue the perpetrators and invited Densus 88 counterterrorism squad to join the hunt. No one has been declared a suspect as yet.
University of Indonesia (UI) criminologist Bambang Widodo Umar said that the shootings were warnings for the law enforcers to improve the country’s poor security system.
“This is a form of accumulated disappointments by the public, as well some sort of test, how far can the law enforcers counter, should any terror like this happen,” Bambang told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday. “Raids against illegal firearms will only solve the problem temporarily,” Bambang said.
“The government should create an integrated security system and should not leave all the responsibility to secure the state in the hands of the police and Indonesian Military,” he said, citing that civil institutions including regional administrations should fully cooperate with the police to combat terror in their provinces.
Bambang said that the police should start responding to these series of shootings by collecting data on the numbers of illegal firearms distributed among the public.
“The intelligence should work harder and there should also be tighter measures against the distribution of disposable firearms that illegally come from other countries,” he said.
Bambang said that the perpetrators could be group of terrorists or drug rings who had long planned retaliation against the law enforcers.
“The series of these events give the police ‘yellow lights’, a sign for them to improve their performance and to stop giving the public bad examples by not obeying the law themselves,” he said.