Thursday, 4 October 2012

Fixing perception won't reduce crime, Hisham told

DAP national publicity chief Tony Pua has slammed Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein for continued focus on addressing public perception of rising crime rather than actually tackling crime itself.

"I must admit that I am at a complete loss as to how best to knock it into the minister’s thick skull that if the crime (situation) has indeed improved significantly, and the risk of crime has been reduced substantially, the perception of crime will be automatically improved.

"The perception on the risk of crime is a derivative of the incidence and likelihood of being an actual victim of crime," he said in a press statement yesterday.

NONEPua, who is also Petaling Jaya Utara MP, said no amount of marketing by perception consultants or other brainwashing attempts would change the outcome of public scepticism, unless crime itself is actually reduced.

"I almost could not believe my eyes when I read the news reports that quoted Hishamuddin as saying that ‘the government was switching its focus to managing public perception in the second phase of its National Key Result Area (NKRA) to lower growing concern’.

"I had to watch a news report on TV to hear it with my own ears to confirm that he actually said (it)..." he said.

Hishammuddin was quoted as saying that index crime - one of the categories of crime whose statistics the government reports - was no longer an issue and that the focus had shifted to "current demands", referring to perception.

Pua pointed out that based on police statistics, it was found that index crime had declined by 24.7 percent between 2007 and 2011, but non-index crime had increased by 68.7 percent in the same period.

"Hence, the home minister is not wrong to claim that the issue 'is not the index'. Of course it is not. It has been manipulated to show dramatic improvement in safety and security,” said Pua.

"The issue is with the manipulated and opaque 'non-index' crime which hides the true situation on the ground," he said.

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