City, police to tackle inter-communal brawls

City, police to tackle inter-communal brawls
Newly inaugurated Jakarta Police Chief Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian. --Photo: Jakarta Post/ANN

The city administration and the Jakarta Police are set to establish an integrated team to prevent social conflicts, including the inter-communal clashes that frequently blight parts of the city.

Newly inaugurated Jakarta Police Chief Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian said the police and the city administration had agreed to co-operate in securing the city from riots between residents.

"There have been many conflicts between residents and we aim to minimise the number of brawls in Jakarta. We can only do so by cooperating together with the city administration," Tito said after a meeting at City Hall on Thursday.

Clashes between residents often break out in Jakarta, some due to long-standing enmity between two groups and which are triggered by trivial issues, while others are caused by more serious problems.

Most recently, residents in Kebon Singkong clashed with neighbouring residents of Jagal, both in East Jakarta, after ongoing and mutual provocation. It was not the first time that the residents were involved in violent clashes.

The brawls often cause casualties. For example, a clash between residents in Tambora, West Jakarta, last month left two residents dead.

Tito said the police would be in charge of securing areas prone to social conflicts, adding that brawls between residents were often spontaneous so regular night patrols were ineffective.

"The police will set up security posts in areas prone to social conflicts. This a strategy that we used in Johar Baru, Central Jakarta, and it proved to be effective," he said.

Johar Baru had previously been prone to social conflicts. In order to secure the area, Tito said the police had set up a security post to monitor situations which could potentially turn violent.

The police also co-operated with the city administration to resolve conflicts in the area. Johar Baru had now been free from residents' brawls for two years, Tito claimed.

"Currently we are mapping out conflict-prone areas in Jakarta in order to set up security posts and deploy personnel. We will conduct the same approach in schools as well," he said.

The city administration, meanwhile, would be in charge of providing social guidance for residents.

Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama said the co-operation between the city administration and the police was in line with Presidential Instruction No. 1/2014 on handling public order issues.

"As for riots between schools, we will expel any public school students if we receive a report from the police," Ahok said.

Separately, assistant city secretary for public welfare Fatahillah said the city administration would take a personal approach to resolving conflicts.

"Pak Ahok as well as the deputy governor and the city secretary will break the fast with residents so they can learn about issues among residents and help resolve their problems," Fatahillah said over the phone on Thursday.

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