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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Coming soon... PJ Cops

Scourged by crime, the Petaling Jaya City Council has taken the initiative to recruit auxilliary police to help combat the problem.

“One hundred personnel will be recruited based on the Police Field Force standards of age, fitness and also salaries,” said councillor Michael Soon Kwai Choy, who mooted the idea a few months ago.

“A proposal for this recruitment was endorsed by the council today, and it will be submitted to the police for their approval soon.

“If everything goes ahead as planned, the 100 personnel from all racial backgrounds will be interviewed by council staff and councillors,” said Soon yesterday.

The auxilliary police will be recruited on a full-time basis but will not “complement or supplement” the police force, he stressed.

The reason why the council was supportive of this was because the police had acknowledged there was a shortage of staff to fight crime; currently the ratio between police and civilians is 1:1,350 civilians when ideally it should be 1:250 civilians.

Meanwhile, mayor Datuk Mohamad Roslan Sakiman said the new recruits would be trained under the police for three months.

“They will be in action by the end of the year and deployed based on the geographic information system or GIS (an Australian system which picks out crime hot spots where policing is required).

“Their salaries will be paid by us and therefore become our staff. We have allocated RM6 million a year for them,” said Roslan.

It was reported recently that GIS will be used to map crime hot spots in PJ by reading data from recent police records. The outcome from the mapping exercise will then be used to identify areas where greater police presence is required.

The use of GIS is among the 23 steps listed under the PJ Safe City programme implemented five years ago.

Selangor Crime Investigation Department deputy chief ACP Khaw Kok Chin had said between Jan 1 and Feb 15 last year, about 1,307 cases were recorded on the crime index for PJ.

Apparently, there had been a slight reduction during the same period this year, with only 1,167 cases.

However, it cannot be discounted that several cases of thefts like house and car breakins and extortions have gone unreported in several neighbourhoods, especially in SS1, SS3 and SS5.

On another note, Roslan said efforts would be made to light up neighbourhoods in PJ which experience darkness due to poor lighting.

“We will turun padang (go down to the ground) together with the personnel from the electrical and infrastructure division to check on SS1 and the surrounding housing areas. It is not a problem,” he said.

Councillor Tiew Way Kheng for zone 20: SS1, SS3 and SS9A said these areas would have street lights upgraded from 70 watts to 150 watts.

The council also declined to reveal where an additional 30 more closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras would be located saying that that information would be a “give-away” to the bad hats.

The council had already fixed 22 CCTV cameras around the city.


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