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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Neighbours band together to curb crime in SS5A Kelana Jaya

Jayaraj (left) pulling a barrier made by the volunteers to prevent motorcyclists from entering back lanes freely past midnight.

Jayaraj (left) pulling a barrier made by the volunteers to prevent motorcyclists from entering back lanes freely past midnight.

SOME 12 volunteers have been diligently staying up to 2am patrolling the streets in SS5A Kelana Jaya to ensure the safety of its residents.

The team patrols about 300 houses in the area, covering six to seven lanes of houses and two rows of shoplots.

According to the head of the Voluntary Patrol Scheme (SRS) for SS5A Kelana Jaya, Mohd Suhaimi Mohd Noh, the number of volunteers have been dwindling over the years, with their youngest volunteers being in their 40s.

“We hope to organise more events, such as games, to encourage younger people to join us,” said Suhaimi.

SRS SS5A Kelana Jaya treasurer Murali Sundareson said they were trying to encourage participation from fellow residents but feedback had been lacklustre.

According to Murali, the neighbourhood has not experienced any major crime since the inception of SRS three years ago.

“We have been organising campaigns to encourage other residents to join,” said Murali, adding that such attempts had not been successful.

The regular volunteers of SRS had been victims of break-ins in the past.

According to Murali, a common reason given by the residents is a lack of time.

He explained that many residents were enjoying the benefits of a safe neighbourhood but more support was needed.

“We need more people. We have sacrificed our time and sleep to help keep the neighbourhood safe.

“We have a nice pondok and have installed boomgates,” he said, adding that volunteers stayed awake until late to man the gates.

The three boomgates and barriers in selected back lanes are put up at midnight and have helped prevent outsiders from freely entering the area.

“We had many cases of theft and break-ins before this,” said Mohd Yusoff Awang, a volunteer in his 70s.

According to SS5A Kelana Jaya SRS member Jayaraj Sinnakkannu, when volunteers patrol the streets, it deters thieves.

“We caught a person taking photos of a house and made a police report,” he said, adding that the culprit ran away on seeing the volunteers.

The volunteers work closely with the Kelana Jaya police, who have been supportive of their initiatives.

They also have a WhatsApp chat group to send alerts to residents registered with them and a Facebook page to disseminate important information.

The volunteers also walk their neighbours to their homes if they come home late at night.

Despite all their efforts, response from fellow residents have been lukewarm.

“People may take their security for granted,” said Murali.

He believes that the spirit of volunteerism can help foster better ties among neighbours and encourage them to look out for one another.

“We hope more residents will come out and join us,” he added.

Tags / Keywords: Central Region , Family Community , Voluntary Patrol Scheme SRS , SS5A Kelana Jaya , Murali Sundareson


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