Notes from the Field

From Indonesia: Reducing Crime & Building Trust

November 7, 2007

In 1999, the Indonesian National Police separated from the military structure to become an independent entity. This single change has been a crucial element in Indonesia’s transition to democracy because it created an accountable, civilian police force. For over four years, The Asia Foundation has supported the development of Community-Oriented Policing (COP) programs that help police in their efforts to improve services to citizens, reduce crime, and enact reforms. COP programs have not only improved the performance of the Indonesian police, but, by creating partnerships between the community and the police to work on issues like safety, they’ve built public trust.

Since 2003, the Foundation, together with PUSHAM UII (Human Rights Centre ” Islamic University of Indonesia), PUSHAM UNAIR (Airlangga University), Manikaya Kauci, and the Percik Foundation, has established 42 community task forces in 4 provinces: Yogyakarta, East Java, Bali, and Central Java. These community policing programs have led to: almost 30 percent reduction of crime in Malioboro in Yogyakarta province, apprehension of child traffickers in Putat Jaya in East Java province, and a reduction of domestic violence in Tejakula in Bali province.

Acknowledging the program’s effectiveness, the Indonesian National Police Chief adopted COP as a national policy (SKEP 737/2005) in late 2005, directing the establishment of partnership forums between police and communities in 5,117 police precincts in Indonesia.

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