Zahid: Public's perception of crime remains unchanged even if crime rate has dropped

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite a steep decline in crime rates over the past four years, the public's fear and perception of crime has remained unchanged.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today that to quash such perception and to bring awareness of the actual situation of crime in the country, the government will soon launch the Crime Perception Indicator (CPI), a measure of the level of public fear of crime.

He said the CPI, among many features will study the factors behind the public's fear and concerns of crimes and will look into matters if the disemmination of crime occurences in the media and police services are contributers to the issue.

"Over the last four years, crime had gone down by 40%, and car theft cases, for the first time showed a decline of 20% last year. However, the people remain fearful of their safety.

Public perception and fear of crime remains a challenge to us.

Hence, at the Delivery Task Force meeting held a year ago, we approved the Crime Communications Plan to meet this challenge head on.

It is a plan to employ a comprehensive engagement strategy to reach out to the public, listen to their concerns adn work together to formulate effective solutions." he said at the Sime Darby Convention Centre during the Roundtable on Crime Prevention "Towards a Safer Malaysia" forum today.

He said improvements on police services such as the Online Reporting of Non-Serious Crimes features will soon take place or by the end of the year.

He said the online reporting will see the public no longer spending time at police stations but lodging reports from the comforts of their homes with ease.