Lee: Urgent measures needed to tackle problem of public's perception on security

PETALING JAYA: Urgent measures should be taken to tackle the problem of the public’s perception on safety and security, says Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye (pic).

The Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) senior vice-chairman said the move by Bukit Aman to appoint an independent body to analyse the unchanging perception of crime and security among the public was commendable but all parties should play their part as well.

“Among the main reason for such negative perceptions is the frequency which crime stories being reported in the media.

“The sharing of crime stories on social media also leads to concerns among the people as most have their own experience in being victims of crime,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

A previous study showed that most Malaysians still feel unsafe while only 10% of them believe that the crime index has gone down, he added.

“The government has, in turn, planned a host of measures to increase the safety perception to 60% by 2020.

“As we have only about a year to reach that target, it is important for the police and other relevant agencies to take steps to increase the safety perception,” he said.

Lee said among the measures that should be taken are reducing the response time for each report to eight minutes through cooperation of various agencies and the use of technology.

“The aspects of investigation and intelligence gathering should also be elevated so that it is on par with technological developments.

“For example, this could include the installation of CCTV at crime hotspots,” he said.

Lee added that the police should increase their cooperation with other enforcement agencies, local communities, NGOs and private entities in order to gain the confidence of the public, which would lead to faster information sharing.

“Constant engagement between the police and public is also needed as such interaction can create a bond of trust.

“Seeing the police on patrol can alleviate the public’s concerns,” he said.

Lee also reminded the public to do away with the “tidak peduli” (apathetic) culture and instead, report any crimes or suspicious activities to the police as soon as possible.

“I believe that the negative perceptions on safety will dissipate once everyone plays their part,” he said.

On Wednesday (Jan 16), Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the crime index had reduced by 11.9% last year but the public perception on safety and security remained the same.

He added that the police will appoint an independent body to study the reasons behind such negative perception.