Cops to beef up security in KK’s popular Gaya Street

KOTA KINABALU: Public safety at the popular Gaya Street here is set to be strengthened after last week’s muggings left two women injured.

Kota Kinabalu City Hall mayor Datuk Seri Dr Sabin Samitah said he was in discussion with the police to beef up security in hotspots for locals and tourists.

“We will work closely with the Kota Kinabalu police to address such incidents and ensure the people’s safety.

“The safety of the public is our priority, especially those who visit the Gaya Street night market on the weekends,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Gaya Street, which dates back to the British colonial era, is part of the central business district with plenty of shops and eateries.

Despite going through modernisation, it has maintained a nostalgic feel to it, thanks to its colonial era shophouses which have been renovated.

Gaya Street had its fair share of crimes over the years but there have been no muggings or serious crimes in recent memory.

However, an 18-year-old boy had been arrested last Thursday after he allegedly robbed two women within six hours in the back alley of a bank in Gaya Street.

In the first incident, a 35-year-old clerk was assaulted and robbed of RM50 at about noon. She sustained injuries to her head and body.

The boy was arrested in the vicinity when police and passers-by caught him after he snatched a handphone from another woman.

In another incident, city police nabbed a 29-year-old man in connection with the brutal assault and robbery of a woman at about 6.30am last Friday.

The arrest on Sunday came about after a man was captured on CCTV which showed him using a stick to beat the woman during a robbery.

In the video which went viral, the woman could be seen trying to escape from the man who chased after her before dragging her away and hitting her with the stick.

Acting Kota Kinabalu City police chief Supt Kalsom Idris said last Friday that the 50-year-old victim, who works with a bank, suffered head and body injuries.

Kota Kinabalu MP Datuk Chan Foong Hin commended the police for solving a string of crimes in the city within a short period, saying that this proved their capability.

Based on yesterday’s briefing by Kota Kinabalu police chief Asst Comm Mohd Zaidi Abdullah, most of these were isolated cases and not organised crimes.

“Business operators at hotspots, especially in areas with banks, must ensure their CCTVs are functioning properly,” Chan said during a patrol with city police at Gaya Street yesterday.

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