KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Malaysian Police need to raise the public perception on their duties and successes in terms of preventing and solving crimes, Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said.
He said an improved perception would have multifold benefits, especially in terms of encouraging the public to have a greater role in helping the police through community policing.
Community policing would enable the public to provide ideas and feedback to the police, which would become important leads for the police, Lee said.
It would also raise the level of confidence in the police and avoid certain misconceptions that the force was not people-friendly, he told Bernama.
One of the key outcomes to be delivered by the police force under the National Key Results Areas (NKRA) is to improve the public perception of safety in the country, especially through public participation in their activities and increasing the spirit of volunteerism among the people to fight crime.
The other two key outcomes are to reduce overall reported index crimes, with a focus on street crimes and improving performance across the criminal justice system to build public confidence and strengthening professional pride across the system.
In this regard, the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Ismail Omar, set the tone right recently by asking his officers to reflect the tiger-head emblem of the police force — a cute and kind tiger, which is always a protector and friend of the people, and a brave, strict and fearsome tiger when dealing with criminals.
Lee, who also clarified that his recent comments at a roundtable on crime prevention were taken out of context, said he did not advocate the suggestion that having a negative perception of the police force should be deemed a crime.
He said that these days the community had become more aware and conscious on what had been done by the police in terms of reducing crime.
“That is why it is so important for the police to address the issue of ‘negative perception’,” he said.
The police, he said, needed the cooperation from all quarters, including non-governmental organisations and resident associations, to help tackle crime. — Bernama
In addition, the police should engage more with the community, have better communication skills and score in their performance to help raise their image and professionalism.
“By so doing it will help to make the police truly people-friendly and people-oriented which will lead to restoring public trust and confidence in the police,” he said.
In the last one year or so, the police force had scored some early successes in terms of reducing crime through the NKRAs of the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) under the spirit of “1Malaysia, People First, Performance Now.”
They had pro-actively made their presence felt in 50 “hot spots” around the country along with mobile police stations and trained volunteers from Rela and the Civil Defence Department besides having closed-circuit televisions for better surveillance.
In Selangor, for example, street crime like snatch thefts and unarmed robberies in 11 “hot spots” being monitored has been reduced by 20 per cent, according to Selangor Public Order and Traffic Chief Supt Che Hussin Che Omar.
In Kajang alone, the crime rate has fallen by 13.24 per cent in the first 10 months of this year compared to the same period of last year, said Kajang OCPD ACP Shakaruddin Che Mood.
In Miri, Sarawak, its overall crime index for Miri city has dropped by 14 per cent from Jan 1 to Nov 16 this year when compared with the same period of last year, according to Miri police chief ACP Jamaluddin Ibrahim. — Bernama