Ipoh Police Chief, ACP Sum ChangKeong, attended a meet-the-people session organised by the Rakan Cop Menglembu Branch recently. The session, held at the town’s night market, was attended by state assemblywoman, Ms Lim Pie Har, community leaders and a large number of Menglembu residents.
Sum spoke at length on the objective of the meeting. “It’s the Police’s way of extending our friendship to the people of Menglembu,” he said. He hoped that the residents would in return give their fullest co-operation for mutual benefit. He briefed the audience on the security situation and the actions taken by the police to combat crime in Menglembu.
The function ended with a dinner hosted by the Rakan Cop Menglembu branch. After dinner Sum and his senior officers walked around the night market and got acquainted with both traders and customers.
Having face-to-face contact with locals is one of the ways the Police have adopted, to tackle crime within an area. Known officially as High Profile Policing, it involves senior police officers meeting the people through informal meet-the-people sessions such as this.
Turn-out by residents at dialogue sessions with the police on security problems in the city have been disappointing. A representative from the central police station, Chief Inspector N.S. Rames, said the response was poor at the various dialogue sessions he had with residents’ associations.
He was responding to the speech by Shafruddin Nasution, chairman of Rukun Tetangga Lim Garden, who had expressed disappointment with the poor attendance. Rames said the residents should realise that the dialogue sessions were held to give them the opportunity to discuss security problems in their areas with police. The purpose of the meeting was also to foster good understanding between the police and the public.
He added that the effectiveness of the police depends on the co-operation of the public. The police patrol housing estates regularly, however the residents should also inform the police if they see any suspicious activities in their area so that patrol cars could be sent to the vicinity immediately.
Corporal Noraini bt Abdulla from the Rakan Cop Unit explained the concept of Rakan Cop. Residents, who were registered as members of Rakan Cop, could send SMS of any suspicious activities free of charge and their identity would be kept anonymous.
The residents informed the meeting that common crimes in the area are snatch theft, house breaking and stealing of water meters and metallic items. They also claimed that suspicious and unruly characters were sitting in the bus stop and parks and strangers on motor bikes and bicycles circle the area frequently.
Rames replied that the police could not simply arrest people for sitting at the bus stop, public parks or using public roads for no apparent reason. Police could only arrest them if they violated the law.
The residents’ requested that since there is a school in the area a Police Beat Base or Mobile Police Unit be set up. Rames said occasionally Police Beat Base would operate near the school and advised the residents to inform the police if they were away on vacation so that their houses could be patrolled frequently.