KUALA LUMPUR: Inspections and lock-up visits by the district police chief or police station chief as well as physical examination of the detainee’s health are among the mechanisms identified to address the issue of deaths in custody.
Bukit Aman Integrity and Standards Compliance Department (JIPS) director Datuk Azri Ahmad said the proposals were to improve the police lock-up management mechanism so that it could be implemented more carefully and effectively.
“Among the improvements are inspections and cell patrols every hour by a sentry and lock-up guard, as well as health check by the deputy officer-in-charge or any officer under his direction every time a detainee enters and exits the lock-up.
“In addition, JIPS at the Bukit Aman, contingent and district levels will also step up inspection and monitoring of standard operating procedures as a check-and-balance action,” he told Bernama.
Azri said a check-and-balance system should be implemented to ensure that lock-up visits, cell patrols and detainee inspections during lock-up entry and exit are carried out transparently and thoroughly by police officers and lock-up guards by going through a check list.
“Currently, the issue of deaths in police custody is an issue that has tarnished the image and credibility of the police force.
“The police are always sensitive on the issue of deaths in custody and even tries to find the best mechanism to overcome this problem. The police are always open to suggestions to improve the situation as well as the existing lock-up facilities,” he said.
Apart from that, he said PDRM was in the process of using Self Monitoring Analytics Reporting Technology (SMART) to monitor and supervise detainees in lock-ups using CCTVs.
Azri said the monitoring of activities in the lock-up could be carried out 24 hours a day by the lock-up staff and the CCTV footage can be kept for a certain period of time and be replayed.
“Besides that, the establishment of the Criminal Investigation Unit on Deaths in Custody (USJKT) which came into effect on Jan 1 is to restore public confidence in the police in managing issues related to deaths in custody,” he said.
Azri said the focus of the USJKT investigation was divided into three criteria, namely criminal liability duty care and compliance of SOPs.
“Its establishment is to ensure that JIPS remains relevant in its accountability to address disciplinary misconduct in the police,” he said.
Previously, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said the 14-man unit would be in charge of all probes into deaths in custody and lock-ups from this year as part of a move to enhance the image and integrity of the police force. – Bernama