Sunday, January 28, 2007

Musa and Christopher Wan must take personal attention on high crime rate in PJ

Assistant Officer of Command for Police District (AOCPD) of Petaling Jaya Superintendent Sugu yesterday claimed that crime rate in Petaling Jaya rose 22.6% with snatch theft increased from 633 cases in 2005 to 680 cases in 2006, while other serious criminal activities like burglary and murder cases rose from 1,860 in 2005 60 2,818 in 2006.

The seriousness of the rising crime rate is only highlighted by serious snatch theft on women walking on streets in Petaling Jaya but also by openly robbing and carting away the entire ATM machines from banks which are supposed to be very well-guarded. Many Malaysians already have no sense of security and are afraid to walk out in their streets and neighbourhoods as well as feel unsafe in their own homes.

Such pessimism and distrust in the performance and competence of the police is borne out by the latest national crime index rising by 12.6% over the first nine months this year. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili revealed that there were 170,481 crimes reported from January to September 2006 as compared to 151,444 crimes reported for the same period last year. As for Petaling Jaya, the increment of crime rate of 22.6%, a percentage even higher than the increment percentage of national crime rate on the first nine months clearly shows that PJ is already a city of crime.
The 22.6% increase in the national crime index is alarming in that it shows that police efforts to fight crime have not achieved any success. Musa had even made a commitment to the public to fight crime especially the 3 priority areas of snatch thefts, armed robberies and drug trafficking. He had even attended a dialogue with PJ residents last year but unfortunately nothing effective took place after the dialogue to enhance social security in PJ.

What DAP does not understand is that why is the police is so reluctant to increase its manpower to fight crime?

When Christopher becomes the CID Director he will take charge of only 8,000 criminal investigation department officials protecting the public from criminals throughout the country. Re-Deploying 800 police personnel doing desk duties to augment the present 7,000 criminal investigation department officials is insufficient to fight crime when 35,000 more police personnel is recommended by The Royal Commission Of Police to make our streets safe for 26 million Malaysian throughout the country.

With only 8000 CID officers, how many of them are deployed to safeguard PJ folks? With crime spiraling out of control in our cities where students are killed on the streets for their handphones or slashed with parangs for RM 2, how much can 8,000 (after the extra 800 men) police personnel do?

In other words, the ratio of 1 policeman for every 3,250 Malaysian is too low. Such ratio is far too low as compared to international standard of 1 policeman for 250 citizens. As for PJ, the statistic is even worst since we have only 1 policeman to cater the needs of 5,500 citizens. This is not only lower than international level but is also lower than national average level.

The Royal Commission of Police agrees that this is inadequate for the police to carry out its primary duties of maintaining law and order as well as fighting crime. It had suggested that an extra 35,000 men be redeployed for crime fighting purposes. This will beef up the crime-fighting unit to 42,000 men or almost 46% of the present police force of 92,000 men. With 42,000 men fighting crime the ratio would be 1 policeman for every 619 Malaysian, a much more reasonable ratio for the police to effectively fight crime.

With only 8,000 policemen fighting crime, the public is unhappy that they are paying for 92,000 policemen but 84,000 policemen do not carry out their primary duties to catch snatch thieves, robbers and drug traffickers. Only by increasing police personnel in crime prevention from 7,000 to 42,000 or 46% of the police force, can the people feel safe that the police are serious in catching criminals

Neither Christopher Wan nor any police officer can check the crime index in PJ which rose by 22.6%. The time has come to increase the number of policemen to fight crime so that there will be 42,000 policemen nationwide on the streets working to catch criminals and make our towns and streets safe for us, especially women and children.

If the IGP wants Christopher or any crime-fighting police officer to succeed, Tan Sri Musa must give the tools and provide adequate men to successfully carry out their duties. No general would lead his army into a charge in a battle when he has insufficient men and is outnumbered by the enemy.

For the same reasons, Tan Sri Musa must commit himself and convince the government to increase the police personnel in crime prevention not by 800 but by 35,000 extra men. It is a crime in itself if Malaysian citizens are protected by a too small police force from criminals or police lives endangered by having too few policemen.
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