Fight crime, not squabble over statistics, says anti-crime group
KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 — The government and its critics should stop squabbling over crime statistics and concentrate on improving public safety, the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) has said.
Its chairman Tan Seri Lee Lam Thye suggested that both the police and the public boost their crime-fighting efforts to address fear, improve perception and keep the streets safe.
“Growing public concern for crime prevention is a sign that Malaysians are concerned about increasing crime rates and their eagerness to prevent crimes from happening.
“This is not the time to fight over statistics but rather a time to think of ways to make the public feel safe and secure,” he was quoted as saying in the New Straits Times today.
It was previously reported that a crime index released by the police and Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) has been disputed by many parties, leading to a negative public perception of police efforts to fight crime.
On July 12, Pemandu released fresh statistics that showed the country’s crime index had dipped by 10.1 per cent to 63,221 cases between January and May this year from the 70,343 cases recorded in the corresponding period in 2011.
Lee added police are sensitive to the public’s negative perception of the national crime rate but that they must do all they can to reduce the negativity.
The recent spate of robberies, kidnappings and snatch thefts across the country has raised public concern over safety.
“It is not surprising that the public is negative about the police’s efforts given the fact that many Malaysians have become victims of crimes or have relatives or friends who had been victims.
“However, we (Malaysians) should not look at increasing crime rates negatively. Rather, we must be optimistic,” Lee said.
The MCPF also acknowledged the public’s desire for improved efforts at crime prevention and said that it hoped to see more Malaysians participating in awareness programmes about what could and should be done to prevent crime.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein recently admitted that the public’s “perception” of security is more important than the actual crime rate as he attempted to calm growing public scepticism about the government’s persistent claims that incidents of crime had fallen.