Lhakpa Quendren

Sarpang—To deter crime, ensure immediate police response, and enhance access to police services, the recent Sarpang Dzongkhag Tshogdu (DT) proposed the establishment of a gewog-based police in Chhudzom Gewog.

Given its location 68 kilometres away from the Sarpang Dzongkhag Administration, a gewog-based police (Gewog Gagdey) is deemed necessary for Chhudzom, according to the DT.

Chhudzom Gup Bishnu Prasad Rai said that among the many challenges, crime is a major concern in their community. “The establishment of a Gewog Gagdey can help maintain peace and tranquility in the community and households.”

He claims that crime incidents in the gewog are on the rise. “With a growing number of school dropouts and university graduates in the villages, crime incidents could rise. Moreover, the gewog also sees continuous visitors.”

However, to bring police services closer to the communities, the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) needs to consider factors such as distance, population size, and past crime rates recorded by the police.

The Superintendent of Gelephu Police Division, Colonel Chogyel Drukpa, said that the establishment would only consider crimes officially recorded with the police station.

“We need to consider the police-to-population ratio. 

For instance, for every 1,000 population, the minimum requirement is two police personnel,” he said.

With a population of 4,422 in Chhudzom, at least eight to 13 police personnel are required according to their standards. However, if established, at least three police personnel would be stationed at the gewog-based police unit to manage it.

“While we acknowledge the needs, we are also concerned that if there are not many crime occurrences, police personnel would remain without work and resources would go to waste,” Chogyel Drukpa said. “We will submit the DT resolution to headquarters.”

Chhudzom recorded 10 crimes in 2022, three in 2023, and two incidents in the first four months of 2024.

The DT directed the Chhudzom Gewog Administration and the Gelephu police division to discuss and consider the establishment of gewog-based police.

“Even in the absence of crime incidents, the presence of police personnel in the community makes a big difference and helps deter crimes,” said Tshering, Sarpang DT Thrizin.