The Perak Police Contingent led by its chief, DCP Dato’ Pahlawan Zakaria Dahlan, organised a crime awareness programme in Kamunting recently. Its primary objective was to educate residents as to the roles of the police in crime prevention and the kind of assistance the people could provide.
The site picked was the Kamunting’s wet market, which is the nerve centre of this prominent Taiping suburb. Getting the public involved in crime prevention is seldom successful due to several negating factors, apathy being a major consideration. People’s fear of “getting involved” has dogged the Police force since time immemorial.
The awareness programme got the blessing of the state government. Chief Minister, Dato’ Seri DiRaja Zambry Abd Kadir gave his tacit approval by making his presence felt. Zambry, along with the Chief Police Officer and senior police and government officials, took to the streets in a walkabout within the market square. They stopped by to chat with shoppers and traders. This informal and impromptu approach was well received by the morning crowd. Dispensing with formality seemed second-nature to the Chief Minister.
Booths set up by the police to showcase their roles and responsibilities were well patronised by the public. Most were attracted to the booth on career prospects in the police force. In spite of their onerous message, skits depicting cyber crimes got the most publicity. The one on careless online chat was a clear winner.
To assuage public’s fear, Zambry reaffirmed that crime rates in Perak had dropped by 15 percentage points compared to last year. The rates, he reiterated, could be further reduced if the public play their part in crime prevention. He asked that they cooperate fully with the men in blue.