Galih Gumelar, Jakarta – The National Police have instructed investigators to refrain from detaining individuals declared suspects in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country's detention centers.
National Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Asep Adi Saputra said detaining suspects would only cram more people into the police's detention centers, which could accelerate the spread of the disease.
"We have asked our investigators not to detain suspects when investigating criminal cases since the government has asked residents to perform physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic," Asep said at a press conference on Thursday.
He added that the instruction had been given to all of the police's criminal investigation units and that detainment should be the last resort when dealing with criminal suspects. Instead, investigators were asked to perform "normative" legal proceedings when dealing with criminal suspects. He did not elaborate about what those proceedings entailed.
Asep said the police would take into consideration the magnitude of the suspects' alleged crimes in deciding whether to detain them. Law enforcement personnel would also place suspects into custody if they fulfilled all conditions stipulated in the Criminal Code Procedure Law (KUHAP), he said.
According to the law, suspects can be detained if law enforcement officials have gathered at least three pieces of evidence supporting their allegations or if suspects pose a flight risk, may deliberately alter or destroy evidence or repeat the alleged offense.
"We promise to be more selective when placing suspects into detainment," Asep added.