Recognised for effort: Nurfiqah talking to a reporter at the programme in Kuching.
KUCHING: The number of reported telecommunication cable theft cases in the first half of this year has been reduced to half compared to that recorded in the same period last year.
According to Kuching police chief ACP Roslan Bek Ahmad, there were 12 reported cases involving the arrest of 16 suspects from January to July last year.
“In this year’s corresponding period, however, we received six cases involving the arrest of five suspects. Although many of these thieves were ‘smart’ — stealing cables at remote areas so as to avoid being detected — we had our own strategy to take them down.
“We strive to reduce the number of cases down to zero,” he told reporters at an appreciation event cum sahur (pre-dawn meal during Ramadan) programme hosted by Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) early yesterday to mark the end of an Ops Cantas beat the night before.
ACP Roslan lauded the incentive given by the national telecommunication group to police personnel who had successfully apprehended cable thieves. However he was also quick to remind his men that such move should be seen solely as an encouragement, nothing more.
“We should never depend on any reward when it comes to performing our duties. With or without incentives, we must strive to do our best.”
Meanwhile TM Sarawak general manager Sarbini Hamdan said with help from police, it had helped the group reduce its cost, which was in millions of ringgit.
Noting that most of the cases here happened near and around Muara Tabuan, he said cable thefts had adversely affected its customers.
“What if someone needed to make an emergency call but couldn’t just because the cable was stolen? It could have been a life-and-death sitation. The restoration process alone would take at least seven days; sometimes it might be delayed as the cables get stolen again after installation,” he said.
At the function, Che Nurfiqah Che Othman from Bintawa station was the sole female recipient of the TM Sarawak incentive for her role, together with two fellow police personnel, in trumping a cable theft attempt in Bintawa
on March 4, where they managed to arrest one suspect.