Amid bribery controversy, Jakarta’s top traffic cop says officers actually earn IDR10K per ticket issued

Two traffic cops in Jakarta drive away after one of them calls a motorist a “dog” for not being able to give him enough bribery money. Photo: Video screengrab from Facebook

Though traffic police officers soliciting bribes is hardly a new thing in Indonesia, public outrage over the practice spiked recently after a video showing a cop calling a motorist a “dog” for not being able to give him enough bribe money went viral recently.

Amid the controversy, Jakarta Metro Police Traffic Director Halim Pagarra admitted that there are still some crooked cops out there who ask for bribes in lieu of fines. That’s despite, as Halim revealed to the media today, the fact that traffic cops are incentivized with a small financial bonus for every ticket they issue to traffic violators.

“Each traffic ticket issued by officers entitles them to IDR10K (US$0.73) as an incentive,” Halim told Warta Kota.

Some might argue that giving financial incentive to cops for issuing tickets might encourage them to fine as many people as possible, fairly or otherwise, but with an incentive that small it seems likely that crooked cops would rather extort violators for bribes rather than pocket what amounts to little more than loose change.

For his part, Halim believes the bonus is there to discourage bribery by traffic police officers. And with around 2,000 tickets issued each day in the city, that amounts to IDR20 million to be shared between traffic cops in bonuses.

“I order all officers to hold professionalism, modernity, and trust in high regard. Don’t find faults in the motorists. Everyone’s fortunes have already been determined by God wherever we are,” he said.

Still, Halim did not provide any data to show if the IDR10K incentive had actually done anything to discourage bribery solicitation amongst the force.

Meanwhile, the foul-mouthed cop in the aforementioned viral video, along with his partner, were reportedly merely demoted and transferred to the Headquarters Services (Yanma) of the Jakarta Metro Police, which oversees technical and administrative issues within the HQ.

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