‘Upgrade D11’s equipment’

Thanam says good infrastructure and properly trained investigation officers are vital.

BUDGET 2022’s allocation of RM13mil for the police’s D11’s sexual, women and child investigations division should be spent on training and upgrading of equipment, says Johor Women’s League (Jewel).

Jewel chairman Thanam Visvanathan-Suresh said the funds for D11 were timely.

“Unlike other units like serious crimes (D9) or cybercrimes, D11 is quite underfunded and understaffed,” she said when contacted.

Established in 2008, Jewel is a non-profit organisation dedicated to advancing the status of women and children and eliminating all forms of violence against them.

Thanam said she was happy that the government had recognised the work being done by personnel from D11.

She added that in 2019, Jewel had raised more than RM70,000 to refurbish the Johor Child Interview Centre (CIC), including repairing a machine which was used to record children’s testimonies.

She said the machine broke down frequently.

“Because of that victims of child abuse had to be brought to Seremban to have their statements recorded,” she said, adding that the journey itself was traumatic.

Thanam said since Johor CIC was renovated in 2020, victims were able to give their statements there.

She said good infrastructure and properly trained investigation officers were vital in getting high conviction rates.

Thanam also said that big states like Sarawak should have more than one CIC so that victims from remote areas need not travel all the way to Kuching to have their statements recorded.

Asked if Jewel had its own “safe house” for abused women and children, Thaman said victims used to be placed at the homes of volunteers.

“Because of Covid-19, we were unable to do so,” she said, adding that the government’s decision to have more such safe houses was timely.

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