Indonesian police experience London riots, international best practices
Jakarta (Indonesia), 5 October 2011 - When Indonesian police officers Imam Subandi and Gede Suardana landed in London, England this August, they found themselves first-hand witnesses to the England riots of 2011 - and to the law enforcement practices that quickly got the country back on its feet again.
Seconded from the Indonesian National Police to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Indonesia, the two National Faculty members of the European Union-funded Transnational Crime and Criminal Justice Project based at the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation
(JCLEC) in Semarang, Indonesia, had little idea that their trip to England and Europe would be so memorable -and practical.
Their first stop was to Scotland Yard, where they found that law and order had been restored across the English Capital City in part by vigorous application of "Broken Windows Theory", which argues that unattended damage leads to more unlawful behaviors.
"It was incredible," said Imam. "There was no sign of any of the damage of just days before. What couldn't be fixed straight away was covered. There was not a single piece of glass on the street."
The Counter Terrorism Command of the London Metropolitan Police left them impressed with the work of the Muslim Community Contact Unit in providing a bridge between police and the Muslim community. A visit to the Serious Organized Crime Agency, a National Agency which deals with transnational crime in UK, left them thinking about its lessons for Indonesian policing.
"The concept of this multi-government agency comprising Police, Customs, Immigration and Intelligence agencies was an interesting idea for us," said Imam. "Bringing them together to work jointly is something that Indonesian law enforcement could also consider."
At the historic Bramshill Police Academy, they met their project partners, the National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA), and studied the Hydra Immersive suite, a simulation system that trains officers by recreating real-life situations in a vivid and realistic way, to see if it could be used to improve Indonesia's Transnational Crime and Criminal Justice Project KERIS, a cutting-edge computer-based learning system based at JCLEC.
They also visited the European Police College (CEPOL) which arranges and manages courses, seminars and workshops for police across Europe. Their management of law enforcement training activities was of great interest to Imam and Gede.
Before leaving the UK, they witnessed an impressive policing response by the Greater Manchester Police at a major football game at Manchester United's Old Trafford Stadium.
"The way they managed a crowd of 70,000 people with so few police and so little disturbance was a real lesson for us, and something we'll share with our colleagues at home," said Gede.
After the UK, they toured the Department of Special Intervention of the Anti-Terror Department of the Netherlands Police Agency. This consists of an Intelligence Unit and an Intervention Unit which combines investigation, negotiation and tactical units. Later, at Europol Headquarters Imam and Gede received a briefing on Europol operations and its role in ensuring coordination and cooperation of anti-transnational crime agencies across Europe.
On the way home, they were briefed by Turkish Police in Istanbul on anti-narcotics practices in the city of 15 million people.
The first two of six National Faculty members employed by the UNODC's Transnational Crime and Criminal Justice Project, Imam and Gede are eager to share their experiences and insights with their JCLEC and Indonesian National Police colleagues.
"Being in Europe for three weeks was a great experience," said Imam. "We observed various aspects of policing practice in many European police institutions. We are eager to make recommendations based on the best practices we observed. Some of our observations can be applied to the Indonesian National Police."
UNODC's Transnational Crime and Criminal Justice Project is a three-year project to design and deliver training programmes at the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC). It is funded by European Union and supported by implementing partners the Partnership for Governance Reform, the National Policing Improvement Agency of UK and Charles Sturt University of Australia.
The study tour is of particular importance for the project as it aims to develop linkages with policing and academic agencies throughout Asia and the European Union.