DBKK, police to beef up security on Gaya Street after string of robberies

KOTA KINABALU: Discussions are underway between the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) and the police to beef up safety along Gaya Street here following muggings last week, says mayor Datuk Seri Dr Sabin Samitah

“We will work closely with the Kota Kinabalu police so such incidents could be addressed and subsequently ensure the safety of the people,” he said, in a statement on Tuesday (Feb 20).

“The safety of the public who come to the city is our priority, especially those who visit the Gaya Street night market on weekends,” he added.

Police had arrested an 18-year-old man after he robbed two women within a space of six hours in the back alley of a bank in Gaya Street on Thursday (Feb 15).

In the first incident, the suspect assaulted and robbed a 35-year-old clerk of RM50 around noon. She sustained injuries to her head and body in the attack.

The suspect was arrested in the vicinity when police and members of the public caught him after he snatched a handphone from another woman.

In another incident, city police arrested a 29-year-old man in connection with the brutal assault and robbery of a woman on Feb 16.

The incident of the suspect using a stick to beat the woman during the robbery was caught on closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) and went viral on social media on Monday (Feb 19).

In the video, the woman could be seen trying to escape from the man who chased her before dragging the woman away and violently beating her with a stick.

Acting Kota Kinabalu City police chief Supt Kalsom Idris said the 50-year-old victim, who works in a bank, suffered head and body injuries during the 6.30am incident.

Towards this end, Sabin said he was confident such incidents would be dealt with through close cooperation with the police.

“At the same time, we advise the public to be careful at all times and remain alert to your surroundings, especially at night,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kota Kinabalu MP Datuk Chan Foong Hin commended the police for solving a string of crimes in the city within a short period after the incident, adding this proved the force’s capabilities.

The Plantation and Commodities Deputy Minister said based on the briefing by Kota Kinabalu police chief Asst Comm Mohd Zaidi Abdullah, most of the cases recorded isolated and not organised crimes.

“Some of the suspects comprised foreigners who were believed had pounced on opportunities to commit robbery and snatch-thefts,” he said, during a patrol with city police at Gaya Street on Tuesday (Feb 20).

He believed the continuous efforts by the police including friendly meetings and walkabouts as well as patrols at the location under Op Payung will be able to reduce crimes at the area.

“Business operators at hot spots especially in areas with banks must ensure their CCTVs are functioning properly,” Chan said, adding the recent case over the violent attack was solved through a CCTV recording.

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