Crime and fear of crime worse than before Royal Police Commission period

Two common threads of the three public hearings of the Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights and Good Governance on “Fight Rising Crime” held in Johor Baru the previous Sunday, Petaling Jaya on Wednesday and Bukit Mertajam yesterday are:

  • Drastic shortfall in the two major objectives of effective policing, firstly, to prevent, reduce and detect crime; and secondly, to provide safety and security for law-abiding citizens and their families.
  • Worsening crime situation and a palpable fear of crime which have gripped Malaysians in the hot spots of crime in the country, like Johor Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Klang, Penang and Ipoh even worse than before the establishment of the Royal Police Commission 42 months ago.

      The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassa and the top police leadership must explain why crime and the fear of crime situation are worse than pre-Royal Police Commission period before 2004 although police pay rise has increased up to 42%?

      That the crime situation gotten worse rather than better is illustrated by the latest batch of crime statistics given by Musa on Saturday, where he announced that the crime index in the country had shot up by 5.11 per cent in the first six months of this year as compared to the same period last year.

      The crime index for the first six months of 2007 as compared to the same period of 2006 is as follows:

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      From these statistics, ten states recorded an increase in crimes, ranging from 2% to 16.9%, with Selangor, Perak and Sarawak as the three worst states.

      Should Malaysians be satisfied with this crime index, even without taking into account the huge number of unreported crimes?

      The answer must be a million “No”, for the Police must be reminded that the country expects the Police to have a better control of the crime situation, especially after the report and recommendations of the Royal Police Commission, which has resulted in a police pay rise of up to 42%.

      Both the Police and Malaysians must revisit the Royal Police Commission Report, for it is not just its key proposal for the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) which had been ignored, its other important recommendations for an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police service to keep crime low, fight corruption and respect human rights have also been forgotten.

      Chapter 4 of the Royal Commission Report on “Challenges Confronting the Royal Malaysia Police” listed nine challenges. Challenge Two on “The High Incidence of Crime” said:

      “3.1 The incidence of crime increased dramatically in the last few years from 121,176 cases in 1997 to 156,455 cases in 2004, an increase of 29 per cent. The increase seriously dented Malaysia’s reputation as a safe country. Malaysians in general, the business sector and foreign investors grew increasingly concerned with the situation. The fear was that, if the trend continues, there would be major social and economic consequences for Malaysia. A survey of 575 respondents from the public carried out by the Commission clearly demonstrates the extremely widespread concern among all ethnic groups and foreign residents. Between 82.2 per cent and 90 per cent of the respondents, or 8 to 9 persons in every 10, were concerned with the occurrence of crime”.

      “3.2 There was an alarming increase in violent crime during the period. Violent crimes grew from 16,919 cases in 1997 to 21,859 cases in 2004, an increase of 29.2 per cent in 8 years.

      “3.3 There was also a significant increase in property crimes during the period from 104,257 cases in 1997 to 134,595 cases in 2004, an increase of 29 per cent.”

      Because of this high incidence of crime, the Royal Police said it was “urgent” for a concerted police drive against crime.

      It dedicated Chapter 7 to “Launch A Sustained Nation-Wide Drive Against Crime” and said:

      “The Commission recommends that PDRM allot the highest priority to the campaign against crime, along with eradication of corruption and making policing more compliant with human rights and prescribed laws. The prioritization should remain until crime levels have reached a point considered no longer alarming.”

      The Royal Police Commission recommended that the police formulate and implement annual and month crime reduction plans, and proposed the following target: “As an immediate measure, PDRM should target a minimum of 20 per cent decrease in the number of crimes committed for each category within 12 months of this Report’s acceptance and implementation”.

      It is now more than two years since the publication of the Royal Police Commission. What has the Police to show for its “sustained nation-wide drive against crime”, the proposed “annual and monthly crime reduction plans” and in particular “a minimum 20 per cent decrease in crimes within 12 months”?

      If the Royal Police Commission’s recommendation of a minimum 20 per cent decrease in crimes within 12 months had been achieved, then the 156,455 crime incidence in 2004 should have declined to 125,164 cases in 2005. Instead, the traditional crime index had shot up another 9.7 per cent to 171,604 in 2005, and a further 15.7 per cent to 198,622 in 2006. If there is an annual 5.11 per cent increase for 2007 as reflected for the first six months of the year, then the total crime index would reach a record-high of 208,772 cases!

      The Police had its own target of reducing the crime index by five per cent a year. If this more modest target had been reached, then from 156,455 crime incidence in 2004, there should be a drop to 148,632 cases in 2005, 141,200 cases in 2006 and 134,140 cases in 2007.

      It is clear therefore that both the Royal Police Commission’s recommendation of a minimum of 20% decline of crime index in first 12 months or the police’s more modest target of 5% decline per year had not been achieved, and the Police is fighting a losing battle against crime with the traditional crime index set to break the 200,000 mark this year.

      This would see the crime index increasing by 30% from 2004 instead of being reduced to “a point considered no longer alarming” as proposed by the Royal Police Commission when recommending an immediate target of 20% reduction of the crime index in the first 12 months of its Report.

      The Royal Police Commission described as “alarming increase in violent crime” when referring to the increase from 16,919 cases in 1997 to 21,859 cases in 2004. In 2006, violent crimes have almost doubled to 42,343, a hefty jump of 94%. What has happened to the Royal Police Commission’s proposed annual and monthly crime reduction plan?

  1. #1 by krampus on Monday, 16 July 2007 - 3:56 pm

    well, i don’t really think that the police movement are doing good act nowadays.well base on some the rates of violent crimes in Malaysia stands as one of the highest in the world today. i think some how something is wrong some where. lets see how many violent case and mayhem cause in malaysia for a week. that is total out range. and how many of these cases solve. still some of this murderers on the lose, that is total high risk in our country…and i also read some articles that rates Malaysia is more Violent then Mexico. i think the Governments need to take action to clear violent case and solve them before going to others cases.because this will bring effect to our country in a lot of matters for example tourism , business , and also foreign students who are coming here for education well this will cause a great lost to our economic. hope they all understand it.

  2. #2 by pidpid248 on Monday, 16 July 2007 - 4:44 pm

    My brother was assaulted by a group of people, believed to be gangsters, 3 years ago in Kanthan, Perak. Although he had survived the attack, he is now paralysed and blind. Today he is totally dependant on us, as he has lost the ability to care for himself, practically in semi-conscious condition daily, let alone able to work.

    We have lost all confidence in the police to solve our case. The last we hear from Ipoh police station was:- “Jangan bimbang, kami boleh selesai kes ini. Kami pernah selesai kes walaupun jangkau 7 tahun”. But 3 years have gone just like that….with practically no updates.

    Ahmad Dasuki Mohd Noor has every right to demand justice…and my brother deserve to know who did this to him.

  3. #3 by Jonny on Monday, 16 July 2007 - 11:52 pm

    There will come a time. There is no one left to defend us citizens.

    There will also come a time, the police is no match against the triads, mobsters, gangsters, robbers. This time will come when the police themselves too need protection against.

    I think the time is already here and now. Where morale of police is low. All are on the takes from citizens (daily daylight robbery) and on the take from mafia.

    When all things goes wrong, they hide in their cocoon comfy air-coned patrol cars, police stations, or at the mamak.

    That is why living cost is creeping up. Take a look around us. All these inconveniences, fear is padding up on the things and services we buy. The fear of uncertainties. Fear for our lives. The need for security and comfort.

    A vicious cycle.

  4. #4 by dawsheng on Tuesday, 17 July 2007 - 12:53 am

    Uncle Kit, DAP should make a TV documentary about rampaging crime in Malaysia.

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