Thursday, 23 August 2012

Minister, PEMANDU must say if crime stats were massaged, says Pakatan

UPDATED @ 05:34:06 PM 23-08-2012
August 23, 2012
An anonymous letter allegedly written by an anonymous policemen alleges that crime statistics have been manipulated.
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 23 —  Pakatan Rakyat (PR) today urged the federal government to rebut claims that its efficiency unit and the police had tinkered with statistics and the classification of offences to show that the crime rate had fallen.

According to PR, an anonymously written letter sent to a number of MPs had alleged that the police and Putrajaya's efficiency unit PEMANDU had masked the true situation by manipulating crime statistics.

The letter was purportedly written under the pseudonym Sumun Osram by a policeman wishing to remain anonymous.

"The 'Sumun Osram' letter alleged that there is a systemic attempt to 'lower the crime statistics by shifting the index crime to the non-index crime," the opposition pact's secretariat members said in a statement signed by PKR's Nurul Izzah Anwar, PAS's Dr Hatta Ramli and DAP's Liew Chin Tong.

"The official crime statistics consist of only index crime," they said, pointing out Sumun Osram's allegation that the police would classify crime under the non-index category when police reports were made.

According to the letter, which was made available to The Malaysian Insider, "Index crime is defined as crime which is reported with sufficient regularity and with sufficient significance to be meaningful as an index to the crime situation.

‘Non-index crime’, on the other hand, is considered as cases minor in nature and does not occur with such rampancy to warrant its inclusion into the crime statistics or as a benchmark to determine the crime situation.

‘Index crime’ consists of two categories. One is ‘Violent Crime’ and the other is ‘Property Crime’.’Violent Crime’ comprises of murder; rape; armed robbery with accomplice; robbery with accomplice; armed robbery; robbery; and causing hurt.

Meanwhile ‘property crime’ comprises of theft; car theft; motorcycle theft; heavy vehicle theft; snatch theft; and burglary. These are the crimes used as statistics to portray the crime situation.

The writer of the letter also detailed specific examples of how the crime index was manipulated:

•    Robbery cases under the Penal Code are classified as index crime. This offence will be classified as non-index under Section 382 of the Penal Code. Since, Section 382 of the Penal Code is a non-index crime, therefore will not be reflected in the crime statistics.

•    Burglary under Section 457 of the Penal Code is an index crime. This offence will be classified as non-index under Sections 452 or 453 of the Penal Code. Since, Sections 452 and 453 of the Penal Code are non-index crime therefore will not be reflected in the crime statistics.

•    Causing hurt under Sections 324 and 326 are index crimes. These offences will be classified under Section 148 of the Penal Code. Since, Section 148 of the Penal Code is a non-index crime therefore will not be reflected in the crime statistics.

"Pakatan Rakyat calls on Hishammuddin and Idris Jala to disclose the statistics of cases classified under sections 148, 382, 452 and 453 of the Penal Code since the implementation of the NKRA (National Key Result Area) to date and the three years preceding the implementation of NKRA to refute the allegation," the PR MPs demanded today.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein oversees the police, while Datuk Seri Idris Jala is the CEO of PEMANDU, the unit tasked with reducing the country's crime rate.

The trio from PR quoted Sumun Osram as alleging that "the under classification of the index crime to non-index crime runs into several thousand cases. Of course, by removing these cases from the crime statistics will reflect that the crime rate has gone down."

"The allegation is serious in nature as it casts doubts on the integrity of official statistics, and, by extension, the credibility of the Home Ministry, Pemandu, and PDRM," the PR leaders said.

Last month, PEMANDU defended itself from public criticism after a spate of crime incidents that seem to contradict with the image painted by its crime statistics.

The agency, along with the police and Home Ministry, had continued to stand by its claim that the country’s crime rate has dipped considerably since initiatives under the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) were put in place two years ago.

PEMANDU’s crime reduction NKRA director Eugene Teh had in July released fresh statistics to show that index crime in Malaysia dropped by 10.1 per cent from January to May this year when compared to the same period last year.

PEMANDU had earlier released figures to show that index crime had dropped by 11.1 per cent from 2010 to last year while street crime dipped 39.7 per cent in the same period.

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