Oct 07 (Star) THE Serdang district police headquarters (IPD) in Bandar Kinrara 5, Puchong, recently played host to and shared information on community policing with a delegation from the Sri Lanka police department.
Part of a programme by The Asia Foundation, ASP Madara Ariyeasena, ASP Lanka Rajani Marasena, ASP Imesha Muthumala and ASP Renuka Jayasundara from Sri Lanka also visited Penang on their two-week visit to learn and share information about the management and leadership of Malaysia’s police department.
Renuka said the ongoing system of community policing in Sri Lanka was very active within the rural community.
"We also have it in urban areas but it is more active in rural areas because there are more problems there. People in the villages are also very supportive of the system," she said.
Madara said that during the visit, they also learnt about the security schemes that have been set up in housing areas and other crime prevention methods like the Vertical Policing and Campus Policing, which have been carried out in their country but at a more informal level.
Serdang OCPD Asst Comm Abdul Razak Elias, who gave a briefing to the delegates, said many of the residents associations and Rukun Tetanggas (RT) in his area have been very active in community policing.
"Working closely with the residents have helped us in our crime-fighting efforts and makes it more effective because they are the ones who know their area well. We have had an area where motorcycle thefts were rampant and if it was not for the residents’ vigilance, it would be harder for us to nab the culprits.
"We have a group of residents from Taman Universiti Indah who were so active that they even signed up to be police volunteers. We currently have a total of 52 volunteers attached to the Serdang IPD," he said.
While there were many residents who were pro-active, he said there were also neighbourhoods who wanted to start a community policing team but did not even have a residents association or RT.
"It is quite difficult for them if there is no support from the whole neighbourhood so as a start, they can at least form a pro-tem committee and work from there," he said.
After visiting the police headquarters, the Sri Lankan delegation also visited the Bandar Kinrara 5 neighbourhood for a ground study of the system put in place by the Bandar Kinrara 5 4C7 Residents Association.
Honorary secretary Choo Lub Khung, who was also invited to give a briefing to the delegates, said they have a system called CCTV, or Crime Combat Team Vigilant, since 2001.
The 47-year-old risk manager said that residents would put on their vests whenever they walked around the neighbourhood so that their presence could be seen.
"We’re doing it for the safety of our families. We are in constant contact with the police and would inform them of the ongoings in our area. We have been very fortunate because ACP Razak is very people-oriented. Not only does he go to the ground very often but he has given us his personal number and also the numbers of his deputy and heads of departments in his station," said Choo.
In their efforts to promote community policing, Razak said that they have also lined up dialogues, exhibitions and awareness campaigns for residents.