Public still sceptical despite 47% drop in crime index: Zahid

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite a 47% drop in the crime index over the last six years, the public are still sceptical about government initiatives to combat crime.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the police had been very successful in fighting crime but statistics alone was not enough to convince the public

"The public should not only be safe, but they need to feel safe at the same time and this is a very big challenge for the government because the public doubts the data given by the police and the government," he said in his speech at the 'Addressing Perception On Safety And Security', here today.

He added that the government had launched the Government Transformation Programme and introduced its Crime Reduction Initiatives to tackle the crime problem.

Ahmad Zahid said the police had been very successful in fighting crime but statics alone is not enough to convince the public.

"One way to build confidence and to overcome this negative perception is to engage the public, non-government organisations and other groups in town hall meetings.

"Changing this view is not going to be easy but we need to create peace of mind among the public," said Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Home Minister.

He said by engaging the public the police will be aware of the problems they face.

Ahmad Zahid said the public must not only feel safe, they must be safe and one way of achieving this is via community policing and having a friendly police force.

He said he also hoped that the public will reach out to the police and help them carry out their duties by providing them with information.

He added that he wanted more town hall meetings to be organised so that all those involved in law enforcement at all levels will be able to understand how people feel about crime.