Is there hope for the Police in Indonesia?

Something incredible has been happening during Unspun‘s morning treks to the gym and back: policeman were actually vigilant next to busy interactions and – get this – they were even directing traffic!

This is normal in other countries but in Indonesia where the police have the reputation as the most corrupt institution, policemen doing their jobs is actually abnormal.

Usually the only time a driver or motorist would have contact with the police is when they have committed an obscure traffic violation and the policespring out from whatever bush they were hiding behind to shake them down for a bribe.

But with the new police chief in charge things seem to have changed. Or have they? As the story in The Jakarta Post below demonstrates, skepticism runs deep where the police are concerned. There have been too many cases of new brooms sweeping clean that even when the service has improved at the Integrated Service Office (Samsat) in Daan Mogot for the past two years at least (Unspun has to make a pilgrimage there every year to renew his car license) the conventional wisdom is that it is too good to be true.

Is this a case where an institution is doing the right thing but is unable to communicate how well it is doing? If you were the Chief of Police how would you go about changing the perception of the police as a bunch of low level crooks?

Police service improvements: How long will they last?

Desy Nurhayati , THE JAKARTA POST , JAKARTA | Tue, 02/10/2009 11:14 AM | Cit

Although the police force was dubbed the most bribe-riddled institution by a recent survey, some people have acknowledged improvements in the administration of police services.

Drivers said they had noticed improvements when applying for licenses or arranging renewals.

Rather than a strict adherence to its motto, “Serving and protecting the community”, the police were believed only to be ready to serve when the money was ready.

But sentiment among drivers at the Integrated Service Office (Samsat) in Daan Mogot, West Jakarta, was a little different.

“When applying for a driver’s license, service should be just like this, quick and with no extra fees,” said Ameria, a Pasar Minggu resident renewing his license at Samsat.

via Police service improvements: How long will they last? | The Jakarta Post.

2 thoughts on “Is there hope for the Police in Indonesia?

Add yours

  1. I am afraid that I am one of the skeptics. The main problem the Police have is that they are HORRIBLY underfunded. I see this because my business works with them on a daily basis. Basically, our clients have to fund Police operations. What the Police need is Sri Mulyani to go in with the same type of reform package she has implemented at Finance and is now using to reform Customs.


  2. I second that.

    At one short period long time ago, i was basically protected by Rapid Response Unit (URC), so i had the chance to dig into their operational finances. Their daily budget for gasoline was only enough for half litre. Yet they were demanded to be able to respond in 5 minutes at max, anytime, to anywhere in their jurisdiction.

    I dunno if Police force is still under defense dept. We know defense dept had huge budget cuts these days. The future looks bleak for the police force.

    Its time for privatization of police force, let OCP takes charge.


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