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Friday, August 26, 2011

Cops too slow in fighting crime

Sulaiman Kamal | 11:55 PM | | | Best Blogger Tips

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PETALING JAYA: A snatch theft and the slowness of the police to act have left a consumer activist seething, but have also inspired him to start a crime-reporting volunteer service.
The snatch happened last Wednesday morning at the Sungai Kayu Ara Shell station and the victim happened to be his wife.
Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam (CASSA) president Jacob George said his wife was pumping air into her car tyres when two men on a motorcycle reached over and opened one of the doors of the car, grabbed her handbag and made a quick getaway.
She tried to grab the handbag back, but was pushed aside as the station’s patrons and staff stood and watched.
She lodged a report with the Petaling Jaya New Town police station at about 7:30am.
Less than two hours later, George went to the petrol station and acquired a CCTV recording of the incident.
He learned that the station staff had failed to raise any alarm even though they had noticed the thieves acting suspiciously for several minutes before making their move.
George waited and waited for police to show up at the station until he was fed up enough, three hours later, to call up Bukit Aman’s top brass. He spoke to his contacts there angrily. This worked, and police showed up a few minutes later.
According to George, incidents such as this make people lose confidence in the police.
“The police did not go to the Shell station until they got phone calls from higher-ups,” he said, speaking to reporters at the Lakeview Club today.
“If this can happen to me, a person with all the connections, what about the ordinary person?”
The CASSA president also railed against police bureaucratic procedures.
New disease

He said his wife, after making her police report in PJ, had to drive to the Mutiara Damansara police station later to undergo further questioning and lodge another report because the crime occurred in Sungai Kayu Ara, which is under the jurisdiction of Mutiara Damansara police.
Asked why she did not go to Mutiara Damansara in the first place, George said: “My wife is a PJ girl. She’s not so familiar with the area.”
He also told reporters that three similar thefts involving women had taken place since his wife was hit and that two of them refused to lodge police reports because they were convinced it would not do any good.
“This shows a new disease in society; there is no point in making police reports,” he said.
George said CASSA was in the midst of recruiting 500 volunteers in the Klang valley for his “Eyes and Ears” initiative. These volunteers will report criminal activities to CASSA’s hotline.
“They would be the first immediate response on a scene,” he said. Calls to he hotline would be immediately directed to Bukit Aman, he added.

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