Bali Police chief Insp. Gen. Sutisna advised foreign visitors to increase their vigilance during their stay in the resort island as the number of crimes targeting foreigners has increased over the years.
Data in Bali Police show that as many as 205 foreigners, visitors or expatriates, had became victims of various crimes in 2008. The number increased to 293 in 2009.
“At least once every three months we receive a report about a crime that victimized a foreigner,” he said over the weekend.
He said that the perceived image of the resort island as a safe, low crime level destination had lured many visitors to lower their guard during their stay.
“This has made them more vulnerable to crime. Bali is generally still a safe place, but I hope foreign visitors will stay alert about their surroundings,” he said.
The police had identified eight types of crime that commonly involved foreigners, including murder, rape, robbery, burglary and fraud.
To cope with the rising number of crimes targeting foreigners, the local police had increased security measures at popular tourism attractions as well as at hotels and villas.
Moreover, the police have also continued their programs to assist the island’s hotels and villas in improving their security standards.
So far, as many as 405 hotels had acquired the security and safety certificate, issued by the police upon completion of the training program.
“I advise foreign visitors to stay at hotels and villas, which have acquired the certificate,” he added.
On the other hand, the number of foreigners implicated as the perpetrators of crimes has also increased. In 2008, Bali Police arrested 83 foreigners suspected of committing crimes in Bali. The number increased to 94 in 2009. As of Feb., 2010, as many as 13 foreigners had already been taken into police custody.
“Most of them were apprehended for drug-related crimes,” Sutisna said.