WAO: If we can’t feel safe at a police station, where can we?

Kogee Sinniah says she received no help from the police and was even told to speak ‘nicely’ when explaining her situation.

PETALING JAYA: The Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) today hit out at the police for their reported treatment of a woman who had sought refuge at a police station in Cheras after being tailed and blocked by a group of young men in a BMW late at night.

The group said it was “outraged” and “appalled” at the alleged treatment given to Kogee Sinniah, who said she had been ignored despite blaring her car horn for a good five minutes within close proximity of the station.

Saying it was the police’s duty to protect the public, WAO added that they should act with respect, empathy and compassion.

“Bukit Aman must investigate the handling of this case, and ensure that everyone who seeks refuge at a police station receives the protection they are entitled to,” it said in a statement.

“If we can’t feel safe at a police station, then the government has failed in protecting us. If we can’t trust the public institution mandated to protect us, where do we go?”

In a Facebook video detailing her experience, Kogee said the police had heard her honking but had not come out to help her.

Instead, they merely asked her if she had been the one honking when she finally made her way to the station, after the youths had driven away.

She also claimed that a policeman reprimanded her and told her to speak “nicely”.

“The men in the car could have hurt me; they could have had any weapon.

“The police were just 50 metres away but they didn’t come out to check on me,” she said.

WAO criticised the explanation given by Kuala Lumpur police chief Mazlan Lazim that Kogee’s request “may have been miscommunicated following her emotional state”.

“It is precisely because of the distress that victims experience that police officers need to be trained to be sensitive,” it said, adding that the government should make stalking a crime.

“Many other countries have recognised stalking as a problem, and have provided special protection against stalking in the law.

“Malaysia must follow suit and make stalking a crime.”

According to Mazlan, three people around the age of 18 have been picked up to help in investigations into the case, which has been filed under Section 506 of the Penal Code, which deals with criminal intimidation.

He said full investigations would be carried out and appropriate action taken if the policeman involved was found to have failed in carrying out his duties.

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