Crime rate dips over CNY


Watchful eye: A police patrol unit vehicle making its rounds in a housing area during the festive season. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

PETALING JAYA: The Chinese New Year break is getting safer, it seems.

For a third straight year, crime during the period declined, thanks to intensified crime prevention measures by the police and community-based policing.

The overall crime index during Ops Selamat between Feb 8 and Feb 13 this year showed 1,008 cases compared to 1,284 cases last year and 1,379 in 2022 for the same festive season.

The number of theft and house break-in cases also fell to 265, from 299 last year and 326 in 2022.

Federal police crime prevention and community safety department director Comm Datuk Wan Hassan Wan Ahmad said 43% of crime cases were reported in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Kedah while Perlis, Melaka and Kelantan reported the lowest number of cases.

He said Selangor, Sabah and Kedah also recorded the highest number of cases of theft and burglary during the period in all three years.

“Tip-offs and information shared by the public through the VSP (volunteer smartphone patrol), police smartphone app and emergency hotlines eased crime prevention efforts,” he told The Star in an interview.

Comm Wan Hassan also commended balik kampung travellers for using the VSP to notify police of their travel plans.

He said police received 929 such notices this year compared to 920 last year and 262 in 2022.

Conversely, the use of “balik kampung” forms to notify the nearest police station had dwindled from 1,339 notices in 2022 to 925 last year and 830 this year.

He said a total of 12,382 traffic summonses were issued this year, way higher than the 6,681 last year and 6,339 in 2022.

Before the next balik kampung exodus during Hari Raya in April, Comm Wan Hassan said homeowners must continue to take precaution.

“Use high quality locks for doors and windows and never leave the house keys under the doormat, pots or shoe racks.

“Also do not leave your keys with outsiders like your renovation contractor or grasscutter. If you lose your house keys, promptly change all locks and padlocks,” he said.

He added that houseowners should avoid leaving tell-tale signs of the house being vacant.

Burglars, he said, often notice newspapers or letters lying uncollected in house compounds.

“An unanswered telephone call is another sign. Plug out the telephone line before leaving home. Leaving a radio playing or using a timer to have lights switched on and off is also useful, along with installing burglar alarms and CCTVs,” he said.

Comm Wan Hassan also encouraged houseowners to actively participate in the activities held by resident associations, especially community policing groups.

“If we leave tools such as hammers, pliers, cutters or even ladders in open view outside our house, it will be easier for burglars to jump in and use them to gain access into the building.

“Tall trees next to a perimeter fence can also make a house vulnerable,” he said.

“Then, there are those who post messages and photos on social media telling everyone that they are away on a holiday with the whole family,” Comm Wan Hassan added.

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