If there’s one improvement everyone would like to see this year, it’s probably having safer neighbourhoods. Who wouldn’t want to be able to drive in and out of their house without looking over their shoulder to see if snatch thieves have followed them? Who wouldn’t want their kids be able to play outside freely without fear of being kidnapped?
Granted, in Petaling Jaya for example, the overall crime index is reportedly 15% lower than in 2016. A total of 4,215 cases were reported last year compared to 5,007 in 2016, while street crimes fell to 965 from 1,255 across the same period. But PDRM’s job is far from over. To keep crime on the low in neighbourhoods, the police rely on residents’ help as well.
So, PDRM is here to shake things up a bit. They are planning to hold crime prevention courses for Resident Associations (RA) to teach people how to kick criminal butt.
The course won’t teach you to become Batman, but maaaybe some ‘Batman moves’
Ok, we know Batman is a vigilante and what he does looks all badass and glamorous, gets you all the ladies, keeps the city safe from crime, and so on. But Malaysian law doesn’t allow you do stuff like that… no, it doesn’t restrict you from dressing like a man-sized bat (although there’s no guarantee you won’t get stopped by cops if you wear a hantu pocong costume). You cannot go around taking the law into your own hands.
In fact you could actually be charged for murder if you kill your attacker, even if it’s in the name of self defense. Not kidding, 5 vigilantes were sent to the gallows for killing a suspected robber! Yet, regular citizens are allowed to chase a bad guy for the purpose of handing them over to the police. There are some limitations to the type of criminal you can arrest, so really, it’s all depends on the law.
Here’s where this crime prevention course becomes useful for residents, the police will teach ya’ll the law, safety, and patrolling methods… yep, so that’s why we explained, you cannot be Batman, but perhaps you can apply some of Batman (non-violent and non-fatal) ‘moves’.
“We need to monitor them and provide them the necessary knowledge to conduct their own patrols in the neighborhood. It is more effective when they head out on patrol with our personnel.” – Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim, City Police Chief Commissioner, Malay Mail Online
Utusan reported that this is the first time the programme themed ‘Pencegahan Jenayah Tanggungjawab Bersama’ was being conducted with the MCPF.
Eh, this sounds like it could be kinda fun and useful to learn. So if you think this is something you’d be interested in…
Eh cool, so how can people attend the course?
Now, these courses are gonna be organised by the Officers in Charge of Police District (OCPDs) in these 6 districts: Putrajaya, Cheras, Wangsa Maju, Brickfields, Sentul and Dang Wangi. For each of these zones, the RAs there are very active, MCPF KL Chairman Bok Siew Mun told us.
“We always have engagements in those areas. MCPF has a chapter in each district and we have our own WhatsApp groups. Even the police are in the groups.” – Mr Bok told us on the phone
Just a couple of days ago on 8 Feb, Berita Harian reported that Sentul police chief Assistant Commissioner R. Munusamy through WhatsApp went around Jalan Jinjang Utama to give out mandarin oranges for the coming CNY and his phone number, so that residents around Jalan Jinjang Utama can report any crimes directly to him through WhatsApp.
But even if you don’t stay in these districts, that doesn’t mean you or your RAs cannot join. Everyone is welcome, MCPF KL Chairman Bok Siew Mun told us. So even if you stay in, say, Kepong, you can go to the one in Sentul to kepo.
“These programmes are open to the public and there are no restrictions if others want to join. People from other districts are welcome to join. Even Penang Resident Associations have invited us to do it there.” – Mr Bok told us on the phone
The bottom line is the police are trying to friend friend with the community. “The aim is to get the associations to work even closer with us to keep our city safe,” said Datuk Seri Mazlan. According to the MCPF KL Chairman, he feels that neighbourhood crime rate in the areas has come down, at least compared to previous years and even his neighbours are satisfied when he spoke to them. If it works for them, perhaps it could work for your area too. Let’s look at a case study…
This one isn’t organised by MCPF but by the Rukun Tetangga (neighbourhood watch) of Section 20 Taman Paramount, Petaling Jaya. A surge of snatch thefts at the LRT station there became a daily occurrence in their area causing residents to fear for their safety. Deciding it was time to put a stop to it, the people came together to form the Skim Rondaan Sukarela (SRS) or Voluntary Patrol Scheme.
They went to Jabatan Perpaduan Negara dan Integrasi Nasional (JPNIN) to officially apply for it. Once it was approved, they informed the cops by giving them the list of more than 20 members. The SRS team officially began patrolling on foot and on bicycles at hotspots at designated times early in the morning and at night.
“Since we implemented the SRS, there has been a drastic drop in the number of snatch thefts. The daily patrolling is a deterrent for a snatch thefts to occur. We work closely with the authorities and the police has been very helpful and they even send their officers and patrol cars to patrol jointly with us.” – Kong Poh Heon, the Chairman of the Rukun Tetangga, cj.my
Click here to read about 7 Petaling Jaya RAs own patrol squad, named Swat, and here for the squad from SS17, Subang Jaya. 😀 You know what? The Taman Gasing Indah, Petaling Jaya Rukun Tetangga even gave Hong Kong police a demo on how they do things in their neighbourhood!
So it appears that when the community works with the police they can increase their chances of preventing crime. If you’re keen to start something similar in your own taman, it’s worth checking things out at the coming crime prevention course in the 6 districts we named.
As for the details, Mr Bok told us that they’re just starting the ground work this week, so maybe they’ll conduct it after CNY. Cilisos will update ugaiz once we have more info from him. Alternatively, you can check MCPF’s Facebook for updates because they’re quite active there, or call +603-2284 1954 / +603-2284 2134. But sorry, we don’t think they’ll be giving out Batman’s utility belt will not be given out as course material.
To make our neighbourhoods safer it’s important for cops and community to be closely knit
The MCPF was founded in 1993 based on the Asia Crime Prevention Foundation from Tokyo, Japan. Ours is the first Chapter to be established outside Japan. From the start, it has been active in getting the rakyat to participate in the nation’s crime prevention efforts, so they often collab with PDRM. Besides this new crime course of theirs, they just launched Pink Angels, a programme to educate children and teens on how to stay safe. Watch this video to know more about them:
PDRM too has always attempted to get close to the community, even way back when. Learning Mandarin, to bridge the gap with the Chinese community, for one. And remember we wrote about PDRM Perak’s fun Raya videos? “Pulang raya, nak pi raya, kami jaga” ♪♫ Gotta admit, the sporting cops really went all out to connect with the rakyat.
“The first reason is to bring a public message, to make sure they feel comfortable with us, to make sure they feel safe.” – Corporal Nazaril Erzad (Crime Investigation Department) who shot the video told Cilisos
Every other country also emphasizes building mutual trust between cops and community because it’s critical to maintaining public safety and effective policing. But why is it so important? The police rely on the cooperation of the people to provide information about crime in their neighbourhoods and devise solutions to crime and disorder problems. In fact, this study writes that cops ought to know most of their time is spent addressing community requests and actual law enforcement is a smaller percentage of the job. 😉