In a bid to bring down crime in the district, the Police in Paro has intensified patrolling on party nights. This is part of their so-called preventive approach which also involves strict traffic checking at night and ensuring entertainment centers have proper security.
It’s almost 10 PM on a Friday night, one of the so-called party nights. The patrolling teams of the Paro police have gathered outside the station and are getting ready to move out. The policemen led by two officers are divided into four groups with a minimum of four personnel in each group.
The teams make sure to check out the hotspots where crime is rampant. The police also discourage large crowds outside establishments and also stop and frisk anyone looking suspicious.
The intense patrolling is carried out on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and lasts till 1 AM when the entertainments close. They conduct normal patrolling on other nights.
Meanwhile, the residents have welcomed the move.
“Paro has become a bit more peaceful. It must be because there are police everywhere, patrolling the streets. We can also come out of our homes in the night hours without worry,” said Pema Norbu. “Before, there used to be many young people engaging in fights now and then which made us feel unsafe.”
“There used to be fights quite often in front of our shops. We don’t know why but the young boys fought most of the time. Now we don’t see that anymore,” said Aityi Maya Rai, who runs a shop in Paro town.
“We were scared to go out at night in the past, but now there are police everywhere, so it feels safe,” said Sherab Pelmo, a high school graduate.
On their rounds, they also ensure that entertainment places such as karaoke and discotheques have at least one bouncer and that customers are frisked at the entrances. This is as per the requirements set by the district entertainment licensing committee.
“We have bouncers with proper dress codes and metal detectors to check everyone entering our centers. And when we close, we don’t allow to take the alcohol outside,” said Ugyen Tenzin, a Karaoke Owner.
Along with the intense patrolling in the streets, the police also conduct regular traffic checks on party nights along the highways.
So far the police have recorded 341 crime cases this year including mostly battery, burglary, and substance abuse cases. There were more than 400 cases in 2019.
And although the change may not be enormous now, the police will hopefully carry on these efforts until crime is fully wiped out off the streets of Paro.
Edited by Yeshi Gyaltshen