JOHOR BARU: The Johor police called on board the help of taxi drivers to step up in their efforts of combating crime in what was dubbed as the first of such initiative in the country.
The system involves 200 taxi drivers in Johor Baru in its first phase where they could exchange information with the police via a two-way radio device.
Johor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff said that it was a natural choice to work with taxi drivers because they are on shift 24 hours a day.
“By adding more eyes and ears on the streets, we hope to be able to establish a proper partnership to provide and receive information more effectively through the communication device,” he said.
Meawhile, a short demonstration of the system was shown during the launch of the programme at the Johor police headquarters here yesterday.
A new frequency had been programmed into the taxi’s radio system and the drivers would speak into the radio to communicate with the police and vice-versa to broadcast information about any criminal activities.
“We will have eight police officers working around the clock at one time at the crime monitoring centre and besides contacting the centre, taxi drivers are also able to communicate with the police hotline and Rakan Cop,” he added.
DCP Mohd Mokhtar also said that before the launch, they started a trial run for the system on Nov 10 and has been going smoothly so far.
“There are about 6,000 taxis operating state-wide and we are looking forward to working with more taxi companies soon.
“The key to combating crime is through information from the public in order for the police to take swifter actions,” he said.
He added that that the taxi radio system was part of the police force’s initiative including increasing CCTV surveillance, police beat bases and the SafeCam project.