KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Malaysian Police has managed to reduce the crime rate in the country by 12.6% last year compared to 2013. Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the statistics prove the police's commitment to curbing crimes. It has to continue to take the necessary steps to go forward, "even when facing threats from certain individuals, as well as the need to change in accordance to current challenges," he said at the 208th Police Day celebration at the Police Training Centre (Pulapol) here today. He added the police has dealt with the challenges well and "in fact there are many transformations that have been made to provide the best service for the people." He said the police managed to reduce the crime rate from 147,062 cases in 2013 to 128,544 in 2014 - a drop of 18,518 cases. He also noted that the rate of violent crimes has dropped by 13.4% (3,950 cases) and property crimes has declined by 12.4% (14,568 cases). Based on the statistics, Khalid said the police has managed to achieve the target set by the government under the National Key Result Area. Overall, he said, the safety assurance in the country is at a controlled stage. He urged the public to play an active role in helping the police through "community policing". Stressing that the police and the community could not be separated, he said the community needed the police to safeguard the peace and the police needed them to help the force in performing its duty responsibly. Khalid felt the concept of community policing could make the public to be alert on the importance of collective responsibility in curbing crime. In SEREMBAN, Negri Sembilan police have warned snatch thieves to beware as they are deploying their female officers in plainclothes to various public places here in a bid to tackle snatch thefts. Bernama quoted deputy state police chief SAC Datuk Hamzah Md Jamil as saying these plainclothes policewomen would also wear jewellery and carry a handbag. "They have been deployed to public places, such as supermarkets, bus terminals and banks as baits to catch snatch thieves. "They are well-trained to face snatch thieves. So, to all snatch thieves out there, you better watch out," he told reporters after attending the state-level 208th Police Day celebration here today. At the event, 19 police officers, as well as 27 others of lower ranks and 16 civil servants were awarded with letters of appreciation. In JOHOR BARU, state police deputy chief Datuk Ismail Yatim said the need to augment 1,000 police personnel in the state would be given priority this year due to the intensive development taking place in Johor. "The filling of the vacancies for various rank and file personnel will be done this year to strengthen the existing strength of about 9,000 personnel," he said after the launch of the Police Day celebration at the Johor Police headquarters in Johor Baru. In PUTRAJAYA, police chief ACP Abdul Razak Abdul Majid said crime in the federal administrative capital was under control, with an average of 30 cases a month involving housebreaking and motorcycle theft.