Neighbourhood watch (Pic by Shane Atken / sxc.hu)
WITH all the ongoing politicking, I thought it would be good for communities to focus on something else other than politics.
One of the projects by the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) is aimed at tackling the issue of security within the city.
To address security concerns in the short term, the council is supporting a community policing effort that was piloted by the SS20 Rukun Tetangga back in September 2008. The programme calls for two to three joint patrols a week by residents and police officers who have been assigned to the community.
During these patrols, the cops pass on information about the reported crimes in the area and instruct residents on what they need to look out for, such as the number plates of vehicles involved in those crimes.
According to SS20 Rukun Tetangga chairperson Eileen Thong, the neighbourhood participation is nearly 40% in this community policing programme. This has helped reduce crime in SS20 over the months. Reported criminal cases like snatch thefts, house break-ins, and car thefts have fallen from seven in May 2008 to three in February 2009.
The SS20 Rukun Tetangga is currently helping to export the programme to neighbouring communities while maintaining security within their neighbourhoods.
For the long term, the MBPJ has announced the implementation of an auxiliary police unit, which will kick off with 100 personnel. This will cost taxpayers about RM6 million annually.
The programme is a long-term one because the auxiliary police officers will not be ready for fieldwork until they have gone through the necessary training, which could take several months. Once the officers are trained, their scope of duties will include helping the MBPJ with road traffic direction, policing neighbourhoods with residents, and helping the council enforce the law.
The Petaling Jaya police force helped the MBPJ put together the research paperwork for this endeavour, which the Home Ministry then approved for implementation.
At the same time, SS20 residents continue to give up their personal time to ensure the effective implementation of the community policing project. Officers from the Damansara police station should be credited for patrolling with residents, and for helping residents initiate the project.
Essentially, all the measures needed to help ensure security is provided to the people because of the cooperation of all stakeholders.
Regardless of available resources, no government agency can accomplish what the people expect of it without consultation, collaboration and cooperation.
KW Mak is a DAP-appointed councillor who believes that regardless of party affiliation, those of us who choose to go into public service should do it for the good of all.