Sexual harassment has unfortunately long been a problem on Jakarta’s KRL Commuterline trains, as evidenced by the existence of women-only carriages that were introduced by the train company in their bid to combat the problem (though critics say that segregating women on public transportation does more to normalize sexual harassment than protect women).
But PT Kereta Commuter Indonesia (PT KCI), the operators of the KRL Commuterline, said they have been deploying undercover security officers to catch sex offenders on their trains for some time. Though hard data was lacking in determining the effectiveness of the undercover officers, PT KCI said the strategy has had some success as they recalled one undercover officer catching an alleged abuser on the Tanah Abang-Duri line recently.
“It happened around a month-and-a-half ago, now the case is being investigated by the police,” said PT KCI First Director Muhammad Nurul Fadhila, as quoted by Warta Kota during a press conference today.
“He (the undercover officer) witnessed the abuse, apprehended the suspect and reported him to the police.”
However, Muhammad admitted that undercover officers, being limited in numbers, can’t be the sole solution in combatting sexual harassment on the KRL Commuterline.
“We can’t realistically monitor 3,000 people at once in one train. That’s why to prevent (sexual harassment), we hope victims would come forward and report incidents to us. God willing, we will follow it up. There’s always a risk of embarrassment (when victims come forward), that’s for sure. But if (sexual harassment) isn’t reported then it will continue to happen,” he said.
Last month, a woman was allegedly attacked by a man on the KRL Commuterline after she witnessed him taking out his genitals and rubbing it on another female passenger.