Bahrain plans to step up community policing
Manama, January 2, 2012
Bahrain's new police chief says he plans to step up the role of community policing and 500 extra officers, drawn from all local communities, are to be recruited for this.
In a special New Year message marking his appointment, , Public Security chief Major-General Tariq Al Hassan said these officers will wear distinctive uniforms and only police the area from where they have been recruited.
'The first part is to reinforce our relationship with the community and enhance our performance and capabilities,' the veteran, who has more than 30 years of experience in policing, said.
The task after the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report 'is to look at where we've gone wrong, to face our mistakes and learn lessons', Major-Gen Al Hassan said.
'There must be soft policing as well as hard policing,' he said.
Major-Gen Al Hassan will this month be joined in reforming the police service by two experts - one each from Britain and America.
"I am determined to make people understand that we have a responsibility to ensure that whoever breaks the law will be held accountable, whether it is a private citizen or a policeman," he said.
Maj-Gen Al Hassan said that there would also be programmes to reach out to Bahraini youth.
Overall, he said he was hopeful about the coming year: "I look at it very positively. On the surface it might look very difficult, but I think many people have realised that there is a democracy in Bahrain - maybe not the same as the UK or the US - but there is a process. And I think people need to engage and His Majesty King Hamad has shown us more than once that he is willing to listen, he doesn't shut the door on anyone."
"There should be consensus, though. Bahrain is not just one community, not just one sect; it is a mixture of communities and sects. All have to engage and participate in the process." -TradeArabia News Service