Probe for all crimes
Inclusion of most minor cases contributes to increase in Sabah’s crime rate
Even the most minor crimes were investigated and this had contributed to the 10 per cent increase in the crime rate here in 2007 compared to the previous year. This, according to State Police Commissioner Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim reflects the actual crime rate in Sabah. “This is our new approach. We want to investigate every case, no matter how small it is, and hope that it would be a guideline for planning in the following year. Based on the real picture (of the crime situation in Sabah), we will be able to plan better,” he said before chairing the Police Monthly Gathering at the Kepayan Police Headquarters here, yesterday. Throughout last year, the police recorded 7,869 cases, which is an increase by 921 cases compared to 6,948 cases in 2006. Of the figure, violent crime cases accounted for 61.69 per cent last year, a drop compared to 79.96 per cent in 2006, while property crime cases also saw a decrease from 47.41 per cent in 2006 to only 29.07 per cent last year. The solving rate dropped from 55.38 per cent in 2006 to only 37.02 per cent last year. Noor Rashid said theft, shoplifting and car break-in cases dominated the crime rate last year, which accounted for about 47 per cent, while other cases such as house break-ins also saw an increase. Starting mid 2006, police had included four new categories of crime in the crime index, namely outraging of modesty, rioting, criminal intimidation and extortion, he said, adding that this also contributed to the increased crime rate. “This year, we plan to improve our solving rate, it will be a top priority,” he said. “We will also concentrate on gathering information and has directed our detectives to do so besides visiting all the sectors set by each district police station,” he said. Among the approaches to gather information is to talk to the people, identify the crime activities in the respective area and together help find ways to overcome the problems. All crime activities will be handled through proactive action, therefore Noor Rashid called on the public to notify the police of any incidents happening in their respective areas. He said one of the most disturbing criminal activities is cable and scrap metal theft. “It is a public nuisance. We have also discussed with Telekom and Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd to offer consolation prizes to the public with information on cable and scrap iron theft which lead to the suspects’ arrest,” he said. He described the crime as not serious but brings great impact on the people. Noor Rashid said that recently, instead of stealing cables and scrap metals, the thieves shifted to stealing batteries at SESB sub-stations. “We will not hesitate to take action against those who are caught in such crimes,” he said.