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Earn public’s trust, reveal full crime data

 | July 20, 2012

The DAP wants the government to make all crime statistics public or suffer the consequences.

KUALA LUMPUR: Detailed crime statistics, if made public, would help to inspire new confidence in the police, the DAP said today.

A failure to do so, however, warned DAP’s publicity chief Tony Pua, would only result in more public distrust against the police.

“We can take preventive action, avoid a road or place and take extra precautions [if we had more detailed crime statistics].

“We have to know the degree of safety in our areas, and I think it’s a right for the people to know how much crime is happening in our neighbourhood,” said Pua.

He denied that releasing detailed crime statistics – which are currently unavailable to the public – would create a panic.

“If you think it’s going to cause a panic, then you might as well hide all information, don’t tell anything. Then nobody knows better.

“But what that will create is the complete reverse of what [Home Minister] Hishammuddin [Hussein] is trying to achieve, [which is] wanting to raise the confidence of the police in fighting crime,” added the Petaling Jaya Utara MP.

The only way this was possible, Pua said, was through a complete disclosure of crime statistics according to respective districts.

Pua also panned what he called the government’s “selective” statistics release, through Pemandu’s (Performance and Management Delivery Unit) NKRA (National Key Result Area) on Reducing Crime.

He said that if the federal government wasn’t going to be open on these details, nobody is going to believe Pemandu in return.

Recently, Pemandu claimed that the national crime index fell by 10.1% between January and May this year, and that there were less instances of crime as compared to the same period last year.

It added that the crime index had dropped by 11.1% from 2010 to 2011.

Pemandu, however, did not detail which parts of the country saw the largest or least decreases in crime.

Emulate the UK example

The government body attributed this to the Putrajaya’s tough stance on crime, seen through the latter’s Government Transformation Programme.

A recent spate in violent crime in recent times have left many Malaysians doubting the government’s statistics.

At the same time, government leaders have claimed that the crime wave was only a perception.

Pua then advised the federal government to follow the United Kingdom’s example, pointing to the Police.uk website.

The website, he said, was able to show the kind of crimes taking place in a given area, as well as their respective categories.

He added that the UK police were able to show updated crime trends, as well as detailed information on the local police force.

Though not expecting the Royal Malaysian Police to come up with a similar service so soon, he said the least it could have done was to show detailed statistics on their website.

In a related matter, Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching said that the conviction and court charge rate for domestic abuse cases were very low.

Armed with statistics obtained from the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, she said that for the 3,277 domestic abuse cases reported in 2011, only 47 had been brought to court, and a mere three resulted in convictions.

She pointed out that there were 3,173 cases in 2010, with 211 brought to court and 185 convictions.

In 2009, there were 3,643 cases with 31 brought to court and three convictions. In 2008, there were 3,769 cases, with 71 brought to court and only one conviction that whole year.

Adding to the matter was Selangor DAP treasurer and Subang Jaya assemblywoman Hannah Yeoh, who claimed that many people were “deterred” from making police reports as they may have felt that it was a waste of time.

She said that there have been times when complainants have been made to wait for hours at police stations, only to find out that there were no follow-ups, much less court cases after that.

Yeoh, however, did not fault the police, pointing towards their undesirable working conditions.

“[At] the police station in Subang Jaya [for example], especially in Sunway, all the men there  crammed in that station with no working space,” she said.

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