Bahrain to step up police force funds
Manama, October 22, 2012
Funding will be stepped up for Bahrain's police force in the wake of a bombing that left one officer dead and another critically injured in the early hours of Friday, our sister newspaper, the Gulf Daily News reported.
Parliament and the Shura Council have pledged to allocate extra cash to the Interior Ministry in the next national budget, following a meeting with senior ministry officials yesterday, including Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa and Public Security Chief Major General Tariq Al Hassan at the Officers Club, Gudaibiya.
Both houses of the National Assembly have pledged both moral and financial support to help authorities involved in maintaining security and protecting people's lives and property from "terrorists".
Parliament's foreign affairs, defence and national security committee chairman Abdulrahman Bumajeed revealed new tactics adopted by police had resulted in fewer injuries to officers, but the death of 19-year-old policeman Imran Ahmed Mohammed Mustafa Saeed on Friday highlighted the threat they faced.
"There are less casualties in the police because new tactics and strategies have been introduced that see less confrontation, but that doesn't mean that policemen's lives are not under threat - with Eker being an example of what terrorists can do," he said.
"Latest figures shown by the Ministry in a presentation show that terrorists have now shifted to attacking expatriates, after police started using restraint that has been taught to them over the past few months."
Bumajeed pledged that the ministry would receive whatever support it needed to bring the situation under control.
"We don't want to spend money on security vehicles and weapons instead of housing and infrastructure, but we have reached a situation where we either have a toothless police force or give them what they need to restore law and order," he said.
"The new 2013-2014 budget is coming soon and we are recommending an increase in the Ministry's budget to help policemen do their duty in the best way possible."
He also refuted rumours that Eker was under siege, after checkpoints were set up at the entrances to Eker while investigations continue into Friday's blast.
"Checkpoints have been increased in Eker significantly since the incident and that's normal taking into consideration the enormity of what has happened," he said.
"Eker's community organisations and residents have to take a stand against what has happened for the situation to get relaxed. That's not happening, but when suspects besides the seven arrested on Saturday are detained then things could return to normal."
Shura Council foreign affairs, defence and national security committee chairman Dr Shaikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa paid tribute to the way the police force was responding to "terrorists".
"Terrorists have a vested agenda against policemen and expatriates and are prepared to cause harm through violence, but security forces here in Bahrain are well prepared to deal with them now," he said.
"Violence and sabotage has decreased between January and the third quarter of this year. That's thanks to policemen's role in maintaining peace and order, in spite of the dangers they face.”
"We have worked very hard to come up with legislation that will help the ministry do its work in the best way possible.”
"There are plans for new laws that involve community service rather than jail sentences, as well as making parents responsible for the crimes of juveniles."
Dr Shaikh Khalid said the Shura Council backed government steps to protect the country, its citizens and policemen. "What happened in Eker in the recent terrorist blast requires us to take a stand," he said. – TradeArabia News Service