Indonesian police have gone into overdrive to rid Jakarta of criminals ahead of the Asian Games to be staged in the city next month. 

Nearly 2,000 people have been arrested since the operation began on 2 July, Jakarta Police spokesman Prabowo Argo Yuwono said on Tuesday. Fifty-two people have been shot for resisting arrest and 11 of them had died, Yuwono added.

Jakarta is notorious for having a high rate of street crime.

Yuwono said it's part of a two-month campaign against thieves, thugs and other street criminals to boost security for the Asian Games, which would take place in Jakarta and Palembang from 18 August to 3 September.

"Police won't hesitate to take firm measures, including shooting suspects if they resist arrest," Yuwono said.

The operation involves around 1,000 officers divided into 16 teams tasked with monitoring certain areas of the capital prone to crime.

Human Rights Watch decried the shootings and said it won't solve Jakarta's security problems.

"Asian Games should not be a pretext to use excessive force," said the group's Indonesia researcher Andreas Harsono.

"It's better for the Jakarta government and police to collaborate closely to secure transportation infrastructure and traffic intersections, clearing sidewalks and doing more police work," he said.

Some 9,000 athletes and several thousand journalists and officials are expected for the games, which will take place three months after suicide bombings in Indonesia's second-largest city, Surabaya, that killed 26 people, including 13 attackers. Two families carried out the attacks, using children as young as seven.

In addition to the arrests, another 1,500 suspected criminals in Jakarta were ordered to take part in rehabilitation programmes.