Bahrain: A reserve police force made up of civilian volunteers could be established in Bahrain to support regular security personnel in times of emergency.
The plan is part of a community partnership initiative designed to increase public participation in safeguarding the country.
A draft law paving the way for the new police reserve has been proposed by the Interior Ministry, according to Minister Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa.
“As part of the reinforcement of community partnerships in the protection of security and general safety, the Interior Ministry has proposed a draft law on accepting volunteers in public security to be issued as part of the constitutional and legal channels,” he told the ministry’s Al Amn magazine.
His comments coincide with World Civil Defence Day, which fell on March 1, and he also revealed plans for closer co-ordination with the International Atomic Energy Agency to confront possible chemical and nuclear threats.
“The Civil Defence works to prevent, fight and limit losses in terms of lives and property,” the minister is quoted as saying in the magazine.
“The approach is to develop general safety steps to tackle challenges and changes due to urban expansion and an increase in service and industrial utilities,” he said.
“There is, therefore, a need to utilise modern technology in fire fighting, rescue and awareness operations, in addition to evaluating general safety conditions and the implementation of modern sensoring systems to prevent all dangers.”
Civil Defence personnel responded to 8,745 incidents last year, plus 2,277 accidents.
Shaikh Rashid said expanding the department into a general directorate, as well as the establishment of Civil Defence centres nationwide, had resulted in a significant increase in efficiency.