Cops went to wrong house after robbery report, incident being investigated

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 15 Aug 2019

PETALING JAYA: The Selangor Integrity and Standards Compliance Department (JIPS) has already started investigations into why the police arrived late after robbers broke into a house last week, says Comm Datuk Huzir Mohamed.

The Bukit Aman CID director said he was aware that the victim, Thivyah Veelurajan, claimed that the police unit arrived late to the scene.

“A team under Selangor JIPS have started their investigations, ” he told a press conference at the Selangor Police headquarters on Thursday (Aug 15).

After an initial probe, the team discovered that the police unit assigned to the scene on Aug 5 might have initially gone to the wrong house, he added.

“The police personnel might have mistaken the house number. They went to the last house on the left of the street but instead the victim’s house was on the utmost right.

“When they reached the wrong house, the lights were on and the front gates were open. A member of the police unit even went to the back of the house to standby for backup, ” Comm Huzir said.

The police unit was only aware they had the wrong house when they saw the victim waving at them.

“The distance between the wrong house and the victim's house was only between 400m and 500m.

“While many factors might have caused the police unit to go to the wrong house, JIPS is investigating.

“Stern action will be taken if it is discovered that the police unit was late in responding to the emergency, ” he said.

On the confusion between calling the “bilik gerakan” (operations room) instead of 999 during emergencies, Comm Huzir clarified that the public is still encouraged to use the 999 hotline number as the call will be relayed to the police and other departments, depending on the type of emergency.

“There is no problem in calling the 999 hotline.

“However, it is also good if members of the public keep the numbers for the nearest bilik gerakan of their respective area or district as well, ” he said.

On Aug 5, robbers broke into Thivyah's house in the wee hours of the morning. She called 999.

And that started a frustrating time for Thivyah, who claimed that the police showed up only after the robber had fled, telling her that she should have instead called the bilik gerakan.

“They asked me why I called 999, ” she said when contacted Wednesday.

Thivyah’s ordeal, which she shared on Facebook, began at about 2.30am on Aug 5 when three armed robbers broke into her home in Rawang, Selangor.

“My sister came running into the room with her eight-month-old baby. She told me that someone was trying to break into our house.

“We immediately called 999. Isn’t that the only number you’d remember when you are under severe distress?” she wrote.

Thivyah said she and her sister subsequently made another two emergency calls.

The masked men, she said, slashed her 67-year-old father with a parang and hit her mother and aunt.

“My sister and her baby were threatened with a parang, ” she added.

The intruders, she said, fled with her car after about 45 minutes.

Addressing the police in her Facebook post, she said: “The first thing you told me is that ‘why did you call 999? Don’t you have balai polis Rawang or bilik gerakan’s number’?”

Thivyah’s contention was that nobody would Google for such numbers when they are distressed, adding that 999 was an emergency number that everyone knew by heart.

She also made clear that her posting was not meant to offend anyone.

“I met amazing police officers right after the incident, who are doing a great job, ” she said.

Five emergency agencies are linked directly with MERS 999 – the police, Health Ministry for medical emergencies, the Fire and Rescue Department, Malaysia Civil Defence Force and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

The service consolidates all existing emergency call numbers, including 994 and 991, into a single number – 999.

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