Sarawak police make third highest arrests

Dev Kumar (second right) presents a memento to Lee.

KUCHING: The Sarawak police contingent recorded the third highest number of arrests under the Prevention of Crime Act (Poca) in 2017, coming in behind Selangor and Johor.

State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief Datuk Dev Kumar revealed police arrested 130 individuals under Poca in Sarawak last year for their involvement in syndicates relating to housebreakings and theft (37), motorcycle theft syndicates (26), theft syndicates (30), violent crimes or robbery (21), and motor vehicle theft syndicates (16).

“This is also one of the reasons why the crime index in Sarawak  showed a downward trend in 2017 with a total of 6,382 cases, as compared to the year 2016 which recorded 6,816 cases,” Dev Kumar told a press conference after witnessing the handing over of duties from outgoing state CID deputy chief (Investigation and Law) ACP Lee Moh Le to ACP Denis Leong Soon Kuai yesterday.

Dev Kumar added some of the hardcore criminals were placed in detention centres while others were placed under restricted residence.

On Sarawak’s crime index for 2017, he said violent crimes dropped from 951 cases in 2016 to 882 cases last year – a 7 per cent reduction.

However, robbery cases increased to 88 last year compared to 75 in 2016 (17 per cent increase), while there were 150 rape cases last year compared to 138 cases in 2016 (9 per cent increase).

The number of murder cases increased by one in 2017 from 27 cases in 2016. Under property crimes, the number of cases decreased from 5,856 cases in 2016 to 5,500 cases in 2017. Only motorcycle theft cases increased to 2,255 cases last year compared to 2,007 cases in 2016 (12 per cent increase).

Dev Kumar said Kota Samarahan recorded the highest increase of crime cases with 332 cases in 2017 compared to 303 cases in 2016; followed by Serian with 145 cases in 2017 compared to 128 cases in 2016. Other major areas saw a downward trend of crime cases.

On gambling, Dev Kumar said Sarawak has been free of any form of gambling under the guise of ‘family entertainment centre’ since last year.

“I can assure you that there is no more gambling (fish machines) in Sarawak today,” he said, adding that the police are now focussing mainly on illegal lottery games and syndicates operating online gambling via handphones.

“As long as there are gamblers, they will find means to gamble,” he added.

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