Reducing public fear of crime still a challenge: Najib

Reducing public fear of crime still a challenge: Najib

Public fear of crime remains high despite the Government's efforts to boost community safety and rebuild public confidence in the capabilities of law enforcement officers.

According to the 2014 Government Transformation Programme Report, the Safety Perception Index was at 38.6 per cent, lower than the target of 52 per cent.

The Reducing Crime National Key Results Area (CRI NKRA) had achieved a 12.6 per cent reduction in overall reported crime and an 11.7 per cent reduction in house break-ins last year, surpassing the original target of 5 per cent for each section.

CRI NKRA delivery management office head Che Murad Sayang Ramjan acknowledged that one key challenge continues to be reducing the public's fear of crime.

"We need to tell people about what we've done so far to bring confidence back to the people. Based on our 2014 achievements, we are on the right track - Index Crime is down by 12.6 per cent," he said.

In line with that, a programme was set up to raise the presence of law enforcement officers in key locations. The programme involves 5,200 police officers and 17,272 personnel from the Police Volunteer Reserve, Rela and the Civil Defence Department.

The Motorcycle Patrol Unit also helped boost police presence in selected residential areas, leading to 2,408 arrests, along with visits to 300,000 houses, inspections on 315,227 cars and 520,917 motorcycles.

CRI NKRA is also reported to maintain its target of bringing at least 35 per cent of all investigation papers to trial.

Public satisfaction with police performance also exceeded expectations, with 92.5 per cent of people being satisfied, higher than the intended target of 80 per cent.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said while public perception of safety was not correlated to actual crime rates, it was clear that the fear of crime must be managed alongside crime-fighting activities.

"Let me be clear; we are neither saying that public fear of crime is unjustified or that crime is simply a problem in the people's imagination. What we are saying is that bringing down crime numbers alone is insufficient to restore public faith and confidence in security," he said.

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