The prime minister adds that there is no room for complacency in combating crime.
He said the government had much to show for its efforts in combating crime, but would continue to pursue excellence in this area to ensure the safety of the people.
Citing crime as the second most important political issue after economy, he said crime news featured strongly in the media as it was a natural concern for the people.
“That’s why one of our country’s achievements that we should be proud of is our ranking by the Global Peace Index which ranked Malaysia as the safest country in Southeast Asia,” he said in his posting “Preserving our safety by cutting crime and boosting PDRM performance” on the www.1Malaysia.com.my blog.
However, he said, there was never room for complacency in this area, even though there would always be a minority who selfishly broke the rules of the society for their own gain.
He said the government kept up the momentum through the Crime Busting National Key Result Area (NKRA) which set several specific targets to reduce crime and improve the police performance.
“For instance, vehicle theft, which is the most common crime, was singled out and tackled by frequently patrolling housing areas, parked cars and motorbikes as well as enforcement against illegal workshops that contribute to vehicle theft,” he said.
Fortunately, he said Malaysia was spared from catastrophic crime, attributed mainly to the efficiency of the police’s counter-terrorism team.
Najib said according to the NKRA annual report between 2006-2009, a lot of progress had been made in reducing street crime through the expansion of the Omnipresence and Safe City Programmes by hiring and deploying more personnel to the streets as well as upgrading and installing infrastructure.
“We now have over three million Rela volunteers working around the clock to keep our cities safe.
“The police are also coming out to engage with local people and holding roundtables with NGOs, such as the Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation.
“Within the force, the Balai League Table continues motivating officers to deliver quality performance consistently to better serve Malaysians,” he said.
Najib said police stations and local authority hotspots were equipped with Safe City Monitoring Systems to keep an eye on crime while over 8,000 enhanced lighting posts, 1,300 safety mirrors and 100km of railings and curbs had been installed nationwide.
This resulted in significant drops in street crime (39.7%) and the crime index (11.1%), over 8,000 confiscations and arrests had been made through various national operations, he said, adding that 23% of those arrests were brought to trial, overachieving the 2011 target.
Najib said although public perception on police performance and service had generally improved, the government acknowledged the common belief that crime was still prevalent and endeavoured to listen and attend to the people’s concerns.