Johor government is worried about the alarming number of drug addicts among young people in Mersing, which is double the statistical average for the country.
Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said based on the figures from the National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK), the average number of drug addicts in Malaysia, based on a population of 100,000, was about 450 cases.
“In Mersing, the cases are more than double at 1,050.
“This is alarming.
“It is our worst hit district in the state in terms of drug addiction, ” he said.
He noted that more effort was needed to educate the young about staying away from drugs.
He hoped all government agencies, including the police, would work together to clean up the district.
Hasni was speaking to reporters at the launch of the Crime Awareness Module for Children and Teenagers (Mekar) at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).
He commended such programmes, adding that they would raise awareness of crimes committed by youngsters as well as the methods to help deter them.
Jointly developed by the police and UTM, Mekar is expected to be expanded to schools statewide.
Hasni said the state government was willing to fund the project on a larger scale to target all levels of society.
Meanwhile, Johor police chief Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the police would continue to step up operations to curb drug abuse in Mersing, similar to what was done in Batu Pahat previously.
“These days, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have to be careful when carrying out large-scale operations, because if one person is infected, the whole police station will be under quarantine.
“However, we will work with other agencies to carry out operations in Mersing, ” he said.On another note, Comm Ayob Khan said based on statistics, students committing index crimes had been on a downtrend in the last three years.
Most of them, he said, were detained for being involved in theft, vehicle theft, breaking and entering, rape, causing injury and robbery.
He disclosed that 1,230 students were arrested in 2019, while the number dropped to 601 last year.
“This year, we have nabbed 77 students, of whom 95% are boys, ” he said, adding that the number of crimes involving students had dropped, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and awareness programmes.
Comm Ayob Khan noted that most students involved in crime or the victims of crime were aged between 13 and 18 years.