We ought to commend the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) for the initiatives it has made over the years to address law and order issues both in urban and rural pockets of the country. Police-Public Partnership is one example of successful initiative. There are many more.

And now the RBP has announced their plan to deploy police in some gewogs of Haa and Paro and places as far as Laya and Lingshi to deter smuggling cases. This is good news. We need police presence in the gewogs and villages, which will help us deter many criminal activities that have become rampant over the years. We know that from the mountains in the north come contraband too.

Smuggling of sandalwood and gold is just an example that many people talk about. But there are other forms of crime that go unreported because villages are too far away from where the police are. It is time strong Police-Public Partnership (PPP) penetrated deep into the farthest hamlets of our society. The general feeling is that police presence will make a lot of difference.

What the people must understand is that their non-cooperation will have implications. As citizens, it is incumbent upon us to build safe and secure communities for all. Therefore, we welcome Police Chief’s plan to visit all the 205 gewogs to figure where police presence is required.

The local leaders from the south say that porous border is a problem. It’s a valid argument. We need to station specially-trained law keepers so that problems like kidnapping and burglary don’t happen. And, in the remote villages of the faraway dzongkhags, theft and destruction of cultural monuments is a growing problem. Local leaders are sharing concerns related to drug abuse cases that are growing in the villages. According to police records, more than 15 farmers from Beylangdra in Wangdue were apprehended in a case of marijuana business.

Crimes have their own growth pattern. They have begun entering our otherwise happy and peaceful villages. This is good enough reason for ask for strong police presence in the gewogs and villages.