Thursday 30 August 2012

Tony Pua casts doubts over crime index relevance

DAP national publicity chief Tony Pua is questioning the need for having the ‘non-index crime' classification and called for all historical crime statistics to be republished.

NONEReferring to the police statement rebutting claims of crime data manipulation, Pua asked why a robbery carried out with the weapons ‘concealed' is classified as non-index crime.

"The situation is even more ludicrous, given that both ‘unarmed robbery' and ‘armed robbery' are index crimes, but ‘robbery with concealed weapons' or ‘theft with preparations to cause hurt or death' are classified as a non-index crimes," he said in a statement today.

Pua argued that the classification of index and non-index crime was ‘bizarre’ and that it was clearly the result of data manipulation, given that the rate of non-index crime was increasing rapidly.

'Stop all misleading references'

“In fact, we call upon the government to stop all misleading references to ‘index crime’ achievements and provide only data relating to total crime in the country, index or otherwise,” he said.

Yesterday, Pua pointed out that while the overall crime rate according to figures from the police and Pemandu were indeed decreasing, the success of the government’s anti-crime campaign had been ‘overinflated’ by manipulating data.

However, inspector-general of police Ismail Omar has denied any claim of data manipulation, calling it ‘a big sin’ to do so.

The issue first arose after an anonymous letter, purportedly written by a police officer with 30 years of experience, explained how the crime index could be artificially lowered, including by classifying offences into non-index categories.

The letter emerged in midst of public suspicion that the crime figures provided were doctored, due to a mismatch between the government’s claims of a drop in the crime rates and the frequency of crime stories reported in the media or circulated through social media channels.

However, police public relations officer ACP Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf issued a point-by-point rebuttal on Tuesday, saying that the allegations in the anonymous letter had many factual inaccuracies and surmised that the author, if indeed a police officer, would not have been long with the force.

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