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Shau Pang writing in the letters column of Malaysiakini, relates to his brother being robbed and assaulted in Petaling Jaya. Four men attacked his brother with a barang, at a McDonald outlet and when the police arrived they stood by doing nothing except to wait for the ambulance.

Robberies, rapes, assault with weapons, kidnapping; they are common place in our beloved country. Every time you read about such an incident or hear the news through friends, you get jittery and feel insecure. How could this happen you wonder, are the thieves that desperate, is it because of foreigners, or is the country turning lawless.

The police who are our guardians to protect us against such abuse must accept the blame for the indifferent attitude shown in curbing crime.

Look at the newspaper items today. Two snatch thieves man-handled by people in Petaling street, a catering business owner shot in Batu Pahat, four men charged for kidnapping in Johor Baru, a textile merchant and his worker abducted in Subang Jaya and kept in captivity, and the list is endless. What is happening?

The police have failed very badly in their responsibilities and duties arising in the increase of criminal activities. The only time I see police men on duty is when they are manning street junctions to direct traffic, and patrol cars stopping vehicles and motor cycles on highways checking I wonder what. Other than that it is rare to see any police patrolling to deter crimes.

I think the best way to discourage people from even thinking of committing crimes is the presence of policemen. I stay in the vicinity of Sri Muda, Alam Mega and Taipan. These places are crowded throughout the day. During my frequent visits to these places I can honestly say I have yet to find policemen going on their rounds. These places are haven for people to commit crimes.

As mentioned earlier, two snatch theft suspects were beaten up by the public, very badly, in Petaling Street last Sunday. MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong was at the scene and stopped the victims being assaulted further. You can read this account here. People at random were assaulting the victims and giving vent to their pent up feelings. The police as usual, come out with the advise, call the police and never resort to vigilante justice. If every takes the law into their own hands the country will become lawless, they said.

It is true one cannot resort to violence when a thief is apprehended, but if you had been a victim, it is difficult to keep a lid on your feelings, as happened in this case; a former snatch victim giving a kick.

There are too many unscrupulous people out there resorting to robbery and snatch thefts to earn a living. This will not go away until and unless the police are serious to curb crimes. For a start patrolling, of shopping complex, busy roads, and housing estates, must be done and the presence of the man in uniform must be there to be seen, not just cruising around in patrol cars but moving among the crowd on foot. This will definitely reduce or deter crimes.

R.V.David

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