Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A salute to the Police (PDRM)

If it's true that the Police will not set up roadblocks this festive season, let me be the first to salute the decision. There's no way to set up a roadblock without causing traffic jams. And roadblocks are necessary when some robberies have been committed or some criminals are on the run. Even to check driving licenses or road tax. But , beside the need to block off criminals on the run, roadblocks can certainly be held at other times.

After what we've read about the protest movements,riots and street violence in UK., especially the inability of the Police to stop the violence and destruction of public and private properties, we should be able to reexamine our erstwhile critical evaluation of our own Police force - the PDRM. Whatever allegations have been made against the Police so far, they ( the gallant police personnel) have kept our country safe and secure and our streets free from widespread violence. No, the city streets can never be completely crime-free for the criminals and would-be-criminals are an integral part of human society anywhere at all in the world. There can only be relative peace and security on the street.

The ability of the Police to solve complex and intriguing cases seem to improve as do the number and complexity of the crimes involved. The movies. internet and higher education had improved the methods used by criminals to pursue their villainous trade and the Police is often left one step behind. But the force seems to be catching up very quickly as more and more personnel with higher qualification are absorbed into the service. More and more it seems that the Police must recalculate its manpower need for beat-work, leg-work and brain-work with heavier emphasis on the last item.

One area of concern the Police must look into is its response time to a call for help or a report on some disturbance. The familiar story one often hears is that a call is made to report two people fighting on the street. The fight is over, the fighters have gone and the crowd has dispersed before the Police arrived to investigate. The caller can then get into trouble for making a prank call. Then again, a person who reports and accident or worse still a murder, or even make a complaint to the Police, can get into so much trouble
that it's not worth making the effort. Some say it's better to keep away when you see anything that looks like trouble or a criminal act. People reporting a trouble are often treated like criminals themselves.

Hopefully these are all matters of the past. Policemen on the street should be seen as friends and protector of the public, not someone to hold you up for anything you do that they don't like, or as in the case of the traffic police, to scare people. This will produce a public that would only abide by the laws and regulations when some policemen are around, not otherwise. There was a time when children were taught to be afraid of the policemen because they arrest people and chain their hands.

Well, let the Police show us a new way of controlling traffic and preventing crime this coming festive season. Don't let us have a spade of house-breaking again while people have gone back to their kampungs and miles of jam-ups because of roadblocks. One big question: how come fire crackers are freely lit and exploding away like machine guns in the the towns and cities without anyone being arrested while some boys having a fun time with fire crackers and' meriam buluh' in the villages are often held up
for violating the law? If some of them are injured because of the explosive, it's probably because they had to play in secret, away from the watchful eyes of older friends and relatives. There are no such injuries in the towns and city streets during CNY and Chap Goh Meh because adults are involved.

The Police may have to rethink about allowing fire crackers during festive season for it does provide a lot of excitement. As regards its danger, even a knife wrongly used can cut away your fingers or cause a severe injury, even murder. If fire crackers are banned, then we shouldn't have the volleys of explosion during Chinese festive season. I must say that even policemen enjoy watching the firing away of long strings of fire crackers hanging from some trees of beams during CNY.

Our society is becoming more and more sophisticated. Arresting kids for playing with firecrackers seem to be a bit silly. Let them deal with the danger themselves. I am sure the Police have other more important things to do this festive season and we salute them for their success in keeping us and the country safe.


abdulhalimshah said...

One of the important functions of any Law Enforcement agencies anywhere in the world is to have a good PR with the public and although there have been some efforts in creating a friendly Police image but the campaign seemed somewhat lacking in continuity. I recalled during the Emergency, the policeman had a badge worn with the clasping hands and below it "Sedia Berkhidmat" on their shirt sleeve. But now it had been discontinued and replaced by another badge which is not readily indentifiable by the public as the one during the Emergency.
Perception is very potent in psychological terms and thus we seemed to lack people who are highly capable in psy-war in the Police Force. It is unwise for the PDRM to neglect this and they should revive this aspect of winning the hearts and mind of the people which was once the trade mark of Field Marshall Templer in the fifties.

kaykuala said...

The police unlike before are under close scrutiny. What with cyberspace and YouTube. They are less arrogant and respond fast to criticisms. Though the job to be done is still there at least they are forced to be people friendly.

Al-Manar said...

I admire our police force who I believe acquired their initial skills from the old English masters of pre-war years. Many serious crimes have been solved. I do ot think we can blame them for the increase and the seriousness of crimes today. If at all their traffic side does carry certain bad remarks.

norzah said...

Akhi Halim, i agree the sefia brkhidmat campaign before under the leafership of the late Tun Salleh was most successful. The public must be treated ss friends not potential lawbreakers. Winning their hearts and mind was a great strategy and thst won the war against the communists. The present police leadership has a lot to learn from former police leaders. Selamat hariraya, maaf lahir batin.

norzah said...

Akhi Kaykuala, the police is not only under close scrutiny now but also under very critical eyes. The opposition sees the police not as a neutral law enforcement machinery but as a govt apparatus to do its bidding. Even the word "anjing kerajaan" is used. I think the police has to do more to show that it's neutral and fair - that all streets protests are prohibitted irrespective of wether they are initiatef by the govt or the oppsition. As of now, the police seems to always favor the govt not the interest of the public

norzah said...

Akhi Pakcil Al-Manar. it is in recognition of the fact that the police had solved many intricate crime cases that I say we should give them a salute. Especially in this special month of tolerence, compassion and forgiveness.
Yes, there are still many actions (or non-action) of the police that we still lament, especially pertaining to the way traffic violations are dealt with, but the police had kept our country safe. Look at what's happening elsewhere in the Muslim world.
Selamat Hariraya maaf lahir dan batin.