Jakarta (ANTARA) - Police have intensified security patrols to preserve peace and order following the implementation of large-scale social restrictions and the ban on annual homebound exodus to curb the spread of COVID-19, a senior official said.

Head of the Security Preserver Agency (Kabaharkam) of the Indonesian Police, Comm.Gen Agus Andrianto, said security patrols are being conducted in areas with high crime rates and important locations, based on the instructions outlined by the Police Chief, Gen. Idham Azis, in his telegram letter (no. ST/1335/IV/OPS.2/2020).

"The patrols to preserve security and public order must be optimized in high crime areas, vital objects, as well as certain objects and regions with potential (for) crime, by referring to the health protocol," Andrianto said in a statement here on Thursday.

The government has issued several policies to cut the chain of coronavirus transmission.

The implementation of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) and the ban on annual exodus (‘mudik’) for Idul Fitri was seen as the best solution to prevent further spread of COVID-19, Andrianto said.

However, despite the government's efforts to minimize the impact of these policies, he admitted they would have a social and economic impact and affect security and public order stability.

"This policy will certainly have an impact. We are trying to minimize the impact," he said.

Andrianto said the police would need to identify regions which are vulnerable to crime and build intensive communication with all stakeholders to detect and handle potential disturbance in security and public order.

The patrol will also identify poor residents who are yet to receive the government's social assistance, he added.

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Translator: Anita Permata Dewi, Sri Haryat
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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