KUALA LUMPUR: Juvenile crimes involving non-school-going children is on the rise, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who announced the reactivation of Rakan Cop and school crime prevention clubs to address the problem.
Violent crimes among these children increased by 5 per cent last year, while property crimes perpetrated by suspects aged between seven and 18 were up by 12 per cent.
"Most of this is due to the influence of drugs," he told reporters after chairing the 22nd Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation annual general meeting.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said juvenile crimes involving school-goers had dropped, while the overall crime index had fallen by 12.6 per cent.
But the public was still not feeling safe, he said.
"Hence, we have agreed to have more crime prevention clubs in schools. There are already 6,000 MCPF clubs in primary and secondary schools and we aim to raise more awareness," he added.
Dr Ahmad Zahid also announced the reactivation of community policing programme Rakan Cop to allow the public to directly pass information on crime in their area to the relevant police officers.
He said Bukit Aman internal security/public order department director Datuk Muhammad Fuad Abu Zarim would helm the programme and work together with branches of Community Policing Malaysia.
More people should join the Community Policing movement by starting their own in their housing areas, he said.
"I am thankful to know that more than 70 per cent of Community Policing members are Chinese. This is an encouraging development. I am sure more people from other races will join as well," he said.