PETALING JAYA: Gated and guarded communities should work together with police instead of barring them entry.
Several NGOs were quick to point out the legalities and needs for police patrols after a neighbourhood in Subang Jaya allegedly denied police entry there.
Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation Petaling Jaya district chairman Eric Chiew said it was absurd not to allow police to enter any residential area, even if they are gated and guarded.
“Neighbourhoods are still subjected to the respective local councils and their rules in setting up gated and guarded security.
“They have no authority to deny entry to agencies, including the Fire and Rescue Department, police, and Immigration Department,” Chiew said when contacted yester-day.
He also added that residents’ associations and Rukun Tetangga communities should welcome collaboration with police to combat crime.
The group Malaysians Against Rape, Assault and Snatch Theft founder Dave Avran pointed out that it was unlawful to privately attempt to restrict or regulate public spaces without approval from the relevant authority.
“They could be found guilty of causing obstruction and be arrested without warrant by a police officer or an officer of the local authority and then taken before a magistrate’s court.
“They could be liable to a fine not exceeding RM500 upon conviction.
“Yes, gated and guarded communities can give residents a sense of security and safety but they are not fail-proof,” he said, urging everyone to cooperate with the police in dispensing their duties.
Subang Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Risikin Satiman said their intention to enter neighbourhoods was not to create disturbance.
“We do not want to wake people up from their sleep with our beacon lights, but these lights do give a sense of omnipresence.
“Our core business being the police is to prevent and combat crime and my personal opinion is that prevention is better than cure,” he said, adding that he would try to approach any residents’ association to work together in preventing crime.
He said there have been cases in his district where his men, including motorcycle patrol units, police cars and plain clothes policemen have been denied entry into neighbourhoods.
“When I am made aware of these instances, I try to go out and speak with the residents’ associations involved,” he said.