DESPITE the drop in the overall crime rate in Kuala Lumpur, cases of snatch theft, pickpocket and robbery had increased more than 50% this year.
Kuala Lumpur police chief Comm Datuk Mazlan Lazim said the police would zoom into those areas to reduce such cases next year.
“The overall crime rate has dropped 25%, but cases of snatch theft, pickpockets and robbery increased 54% compared to last year
“These types of crime strike fear among the public, especially tourists visiting the capital city.
“I have asked the crime investigation unit to focus on these cases,” he said in his opening speech during the launch of community policing at Kuala Lumpur wholesale market in Selayang yesterday.
The Star reported yesterday that 11,815 crime cases were recorded this year in Kuala Lumpur compared to 15,785 cases last year.
Comm Mazlan also said the police would launch an anti-snatch theft, pickpocket and robbery campaign and walkabout from Kuala Lumpur Sentral to Pavilion via Bukit Bintang Station today with Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun.
“This shows that we are committed in combating these crimes.
“Although the overall crime rate has dropped, the public are still worried and fearful of crime simply because snatch theft, pickpocket and robbery has increased. This is why we are determined to make combating these three crime cases our top priority,” he said.
Comm Mazlan said in order to combat snatch theft, pickpockets, robbery and other criminal cases in the market, the police required the help of the public.
“Community policing is in line with the concept of ‘civilian policing’ where the public will be the ‘eyes and ears’ of the police.
“One of the initiative is through a two-way interactive mobile application called Volunteer Smartphone Patrol (VSP) where users can send key details of a crime happening near them.
“To date, 957,353 people had registered for the app out of which 28,561 are Kuala Lumpur folk,” he said, urging the community to continue using the app to report a crime.
He also said there would be a joint operation with other enforcement agencies to weed out illegal foreigners, triad members and street drug pushers.
“There are many illegal immigrants and we urge the traders not to protect them.
“We have also appointed Sub-Insp Nor Azmi Amin Abdul Rahman to be the liaison officer assisted by Sgt Jifri Ishak, thus the traders can go directly to them should a crime happen here.
“The police are also going to identify all triad members operating here and their hideout places to ensure that there are no more unwanted activity taking place here that could harm public safety,” he said.
On crimes involving the Kuala Lumpur wholesale market, he said the overall crime cases has dropped 54.2% from 131 cases to 60 from January to November this year.
A total of 32 of the 60 cases are property crimes and 28 cases are categorised as violent crimes.
Meanwhile, drug cases at the wholesale market had also reduced from 340 cases to 220 cases or 64% from January to November this year.
Kuala Lumpur Hoi Seong Association (fish wholesalers) secretary-general Lai Soong Hoong said the security at the wholesale market was bad.
“There are a lot of fights involving foreigners and refugees in the first half of the year but it reduced in the second half of the year.
“Some of the traders have been mugged by foreigners and four cases were reported this year and their losses are about RM20,000.
“We hope that the police can station more cops in the market,” he said.
Kuala Lumpur Vegetable Wholesalers Association president Chong Tek Keong said he was glad that the police had assigned officers at the market.
“We have been complaining about the security problem here and now we are happy that the police is taking steps to ensure the safety of traders and customers.