More action please, cops told

Concerned SUPP Youth launches petition drive to seek better security for city

KUCHING: Sarawak United
People’s Party (SUPP) Youth wants
more action from the Kuching police
force, saying Kuching city is not
safe any longer.
Launching a signature campaign
to petition Kuching police to do
more for security yesterday, SUPP
Youth chief Alan Sim said it was
high time city police increase the
number of its personnel, police
stations and sub-stations or
‘pondok’.
Sim, a political secretary to the
Chief Minister, also called for more
frequent police surveillance in and
around the city.
He said police focus should be
more on crime prevention rather
than eradication.
He pointed out that after
numerous dialogues on combating
crimes, the standard reply from
the police force was that it did not
have enough personnel to curb crime.
The launching, held at the SUPP
headquarters hall, saw almost 100
party members, community leaders
and representatives of associations
and non-governmental organisations
signing the petition.
“We had numerous dialogues with
the police and their standard answer
is that ‘We do not have enough
manpower’. But the people will not
be able to accept shortage of
manpower as justification for failure
to curb crime,” said Sim.
He was told there were more than
50 patrol cars in the city but the
maximum that went out at any single
time was 14, which showed the acute
shortage of police personnel.
“We do not feel safe anymore.
For instance, the 10 robbery cases
so far this year have raised the
concern of everyone and we are
living in fear at night in our homes,” he said.
According to him, the problem
in the State capital is a national issue.
Quoting Prime Minister Datuk
Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Sim
said the crime rate in the country
shot up by 13.4 per cent nationwide
last year (2007).
According to a report in a
national daily, the Prime Minister
had expressed alarm and
announced remedial action, Sim
pointed out.
“The Prime Minister was
reported as saying that he was
worried over the increased crime
index; it was getting higher and
would create anxiety among the
public,” Sim said.
Sim said under the Ninth Malaysia
Plan (9MP), the government had
targeted to recruit and train 60,000
police personnel all over the
country, and SUPP Youth strongly
felt that Kuching should have its
fair share of new recruits.
“The 9MP is into its second year
now and presumably more than
10,000 recruits would have been
churned out to join the force. And
we want to know how many are
deployed to Kuching. Do the police
still rate Kuching as a very safe city
compared to other places?” Sim asked.
According to him, based on the
feedback he obtained, many people
thought that Kuching was no longer
a safe city and that city folks wanted
police presence felt.
“Even if we apply for a beat box
today, the police will not even be
able to reply. They could not even
service the existing ones.
“And even if the public were to
offer to rent their shophouses to the
police to set up its booths in black
areas, the answer is also a ‘No’
because they cannot maintain the
booths,” said a visibly upset Sim.
He said SUPP Youth would also
come up with a petition to call for
mandatory whipping of convicted
snatchers because of the increasing
number of snatch theft cases which
in some cases saw victims badly injured.

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