PETALING JAYA: Women’s groups want police to resume giving them statistics on sexual assault cases, saying the information is critical to their work and to the public.
Dr Prema Devaraj, who is the Penang-based Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) trainer consultant, said police told WCC in November last year that the statistics they wanted on sodomy and domestic violence would no longer be made available to them.
“We wrote to Bukit Aman in October and after a month, when we still had not received a response, we called and were told the police were not giving out statistics anymore,” she said in a telephone interview yesterday.
“We understand the need to be cautious to ensure that the statistics are interpreted properly, but if a proper application is made, then the information should be given,” she added.
Dr Prema said detailed statistics of sexual assault crimes such as rape had been available on the police website (www.rmp.gov.my) at least up to January this year but the information has since been removed.
Among others, these detailed statistics included information according to state, race, gender, age, location of crime committed, and relationship between victim and perpetrator.
Dr Prema said statistics provided a profile of sexual assault cases that were critical to WCC’s educational work with children, citing for example, that it was useful to know when formulating such programmes that boys made up 10% of child abuse cases.
Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) executive director Ivy Josiah said it had been told by the police that statistics relating to the implementation of the law for sexual assault cases would not be made available.
“These statistics tell us what the gaps are in the implementation of the law, and what kind of support we need to provide to victims,'' she said.
Josiah said the police had also denied them statistics on rape that were presented during a meeting last year.
All Women’s Action Society (Awam) administration and programme manager Manohari Subramaniam said the police had told the organisation in a letter this year to get the statistics they needed from the “relevant ministries”.
Bukit Aman public relations head Supt Jamshah Mustapa said there was no policy in place to deny the organisations the information they were seeking.
“So long as we have the information, and the information is not an official secret or information that could jeopardise an investigation, we will provide it,” he said in an interview.
He said the statistics from the police website had been removed to avoid complaints that the police were unable to provide weekly updates.