PETALING JAYA - A tool to "measure" the rakyat's fear of crime will be put in place as this is still very high despite the crime rate going down by 40 per cent, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said the tool, called the Crime Perception Indicator (CPI), would be made public once it has been calibrated.
"Over the last four years, crime has gone down by 40 per cent and for the first time, car theft cases have been reduced.
"Although the numbers have gone down, the people still remain fearful for their safety. If the figure is decreasing, then fear of crime should be reducing as well but that's not the case right now," he said at the launch of "Roundtable on Crime: Towards a Safer Malaysia" here yesterday.
The CPI, which is the brainchild of the Home Ministry, the Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation and police, would comprise four components - signals, my space, amplifier and police services.
"Signals refer to people's impression of their safety outside their homes, my space is an individual's perception on whether the public or police will help them in public space should something happen to them, amplifier refers to how often a crime is being talked about on social media and lastly, the police's performance.
"These factors, along with crime itself, make up 'fear of crime'.
"By addressing these four components, I believe public perception will improve," he said.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said the Crime Communication Plan had set out to meet this challenge head on during a Delivery Task Force meeting in November last year.
"The plan will employ a comprehensive engagement strategy, which includes the CPI, reaching out to the public and working together to formulate effective solutions.
"People should not only be safe but also feel safe," he said.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said police would also embark on the Modern Policing initiative, which would help authorities adapt to the ever-changing criminal landscape.
"The Modern Policing initiative will see the police moving from a paramilitary model to a combination of both paramilitary and service-oriented force," he said.
He added that online reporting of non-serious crimes would be launched at the end of the year.