Friday 24 August 2012

PDRM told to end its PR charade

COMMENT In its response to Centre for Policy Initiatives director Dr Lim Teck Ghee, the police force said, "Crime statistics released by the PDRM (Royal Malaysian Police) are the actual figures of criminal cases reported to and investigated by the police department.

"These figures are auto-generated by the department's computer system, i.e. the Police Reporting System (PRS). In this way, no alteration or adjustment to the figures can be done in order to portray a rosy picture of the crime situation as claimed by certain quarters."

Brickfields OCPD Abdul Wan Bari Wan Abdul Khalid leading Ops Tawan bangsar village 5This is a flawed argument. The police computer system picks up only what has been fed into it. The PRS system does not control the classification of cases. To demonstrate that the GTP (Government Transformation Programme), NKRA (National Key Result Area) and KPI (key performance indicator) are indeed a success, the classification of cases wasdoctored and entered into the system, which subsequently produced the desired result.

The police made another assertion, "All crime data and statistics generated within the PDRM system have been audited and verified by PricewaterhouseCoopers Malaysia."

Do you expect accountants to audit and verify the classification of cases? Did they go through all the police reports to ensure the nature of crime committed, categorising the correct section of the offence under the law, and the classification of the cases as ‘index' or ‘non-index' crime?

Their role is only limited to calculating the figures given by the police. In fact, it is a waste of public funds hiring accountants to just vet the figures if only the police are honest in tabulating the crime statistics in the first place.

NONEIt's time to end the charade of public relations (PR) exercises to erase the fear of crime. Stop fooling the public with PR programmes, such as ‘high profile policing', ‘high visibility patrol', ‘walkabout', ‘stop and talk', ‘meet and greet' and ‘singing in shopping malls' - that won't work when criminals are everywhere.
Boost investigation staff
Spending huge money hiring consultants with no background or expertise in the criminal field to advise the police was the biggest blunder. It is a shame that an organisation of 205 years, where there are police officers of more than 30 years in service and experience with educational background from basic degrees to PhDs, unable to tackle the crime situation.

Investigation is the area where most people are frustrated about, as well as suspicious and the lack confidence in the ability of the police to apprehend the suspect and solve the case. This is the primary cause of dissatisfaction and negative perception of the police among the public.

azlanPoor investigation and inaction lead to more criminals on the streets and crime becoming more prevalent and widespread. One of the ways to reduce crime is by removing as many criminals as possible from the society and putting them behind bars.

Crack the whip on the investigators. Increase the staffing in all departments involved in investigations and the right officers to helm these departments at the district, state and federal levels. As a reminder, terminate at once the current distortion of the KPI on solving rate and charging rate before it develops into another controversy.

Another bone of contention is crime prevention. Instead of wasting manpower and time on PR exercises, the tried and tested methods must be invigorated. The mobile and beat patrols and roadblocks must be strengthened and energised. Poor planning, lackadaisical attitude of staff, and the lack of knowledge and skills are the main problems afflicting this area.

Ad-hoc measures of crime prevention are ineffective and should be a thing of the past. Crime prevention through mobile and beat patrols should be constant and extensive with sufficient police presence and effective enforcement.

It takes a thief to catch a thief. There was a time when detectives were very resourceful in intelligence gathering and have the ability to pinpoint the culprits just by analysing their modus operandi. They were all-rounded, and like cats, can smell the rats miles away.

Good and capable detectives have been given insignificant desk jobs. More personnel should be inducted with the necessary skills and agility to gather intelligence on criminal activities, detect and apprehend criminals.

Immediate and drastic move to improve on those three areas (investigation, crime prevention and detectives) will produce significant progress in alleviating the crime menace Malaysians are experiencing now.

The issue of race

Criminals come from various ethnic backgrounds. The police organisation should similarly be staffed with sufficient police officers from multi-ethnic backgrounds. The police organisation is now filled with more than 90 percent consisting of one ethnic group.

Crime has no boundary or race barriers. The composition of the police should reflect the society they are dealing with. How do you expect police officers from one ethnicity to effectually communicate, source for information, deal with criminals, and address communal issues, with a person of different culture, custom, language and background in an effective and practical manner?

This is not a racial issue, but I voiced this with noble intention and it is made in the best interests of all Malaysians.

Police are responsible for the maintenance of law and order. They are answerable to the law and the law alone.
hishammuddin hussein dang wangi police station 2The home minister has no business in occupying two floors of office building at Bukit Aman (federal police headquarters). His appropriate place is at the Home Ministry, Putrajaya. His role should be confined to policymaking only and not getting involved in, directing, or supervising the day-to-day operations of the police.

There is no guarantee that he won't be under investigation if he transgresses the law. The inspector-general of police (IGP) should not be put in a comprising position should a conflict of issue arises involving the home minister.

One very senior police officer with the ranking of deputy commissioner of police (DCP) is dedicated to chaperon the home minister. Many more senior officers and men are assigned to him in the name of NKRA. This is a sheer waste of humanpower and taxpayers' money, whence these men should be on the ground maintaining law and order.

To fight crime, you have to take the bull by its horns. The police should not be parading in public, smiling; giggling; shaking hands; stop and talk; and meet and greet, to overcome the fear of crime or the negative perception. That is just putting up a cosmetic appearance when the real grievance is unresolved and unattended to.

The police force is a leading crime enforcement body. They must appear serious and stern whilst executing their duties. Their sacrosanct oath of protecting the people and property must be honoured.

There must be a climate of fear and respect towards the police. The fear must come from the wrongdoers and those who intend to contravene the law. Respect is from those who feel secure when seeing the men in blue. Are the police doing the right thing to earn that respect?

Malaysians are feeling insecure with the crime situation and the fear of being a victim keeps mounting. Ironically, even the police officers are voicing the same sentiment. Camouflaging crime figures will only aggravate the situation further. Be honest and tell the truth.

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