So, has crime rate gone up or down?

― Soo Lim Chee
The Malaysian Insider
Aug 31, 2012

AUG 31 ―I refer to the former and incumbent IGP’s differing opinions over PDRM’s crime statistics.

So, who is to say crime rate has gone up or come down ?

A decreasing number of police reports does not indicate a lower crime rate. A large number of crimes committed went unreported. Therefore any compilation of statistics is unreliable.

Statistics are useful but to attach a great deal of meaning to them is to bark up the wrong tree.

What may be important and should be of concern is encapsulated in the IGP ‘s statement to the media.

“I am aware that people are afraid and there are crimes everywhere. We are working on it and if the people do not believe in statistics then stop looking at them. Let’s work together to reduce crime.”

Yes, we are afraid. Yes, we know there are crimes everywhere. Yes, let’s work together to reduce them.

As I write this, my friend’s wife is recuperating at a hospital after an operation to mend a shattered collar bone. In broad daylight, on August 28, she was mugged near the town centre (where the old Sentosa cinama was) of Section 17, Petaling Jaya.

The snatch thief got away with her handbag. This incident is alarming in that the predators are now out to physically attack and immobilise their prey first. The bold ruthlessness is frightening.

Yesterday, while having our weekly lunch, three friends and I broached the subject of snatch-theft. From our conversation it began to dawn on us that all our wives have been victims of snatch thieves in recent years. My wife was twice a victim.

What does this tell us?

On this Merdeka day, I am ashamed that the crooks plying the streets of our neighbourhood have neither respect nor fear for my country’s law enforcers.

The IGP invited the public to offer ideas on how to make our streets safer.

May I venture a few?

1) I noticed that in my area near the SS2 town centre, where policemen on their beat or at the mobile bases are visible, cases of snatching have almost been eliminated. There is no manned police beat base at Section 17 town centre. Please put one up as soon as possible.

2) Seek the co-operation of the media to highlight punishments meted out to snatch thieves as a deterrent.

3) For areas with high incidences of street crimes, form a special squad by co-opting RELA members?

4) This may appear unorthodox but I am giving it a shot. Employ plain-clothes policewoman as decoy carrying a handbag in which is placed a small charge of explosive with a remote-controlled detonator. As the thief flees with the handbag on his motorbike the policewoman presses the button of her remote to detonate an explosion enough to throw the culprit off his bike, but not enough to maim him.

The anger of the people with street criminals would eventually galvanise them, so that even the meekest among them would help to beat the criminal to pulp if caught.

Perhaps this remains the best deterrent against street crimes.

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