News: S'pore, Johor police in anti-crime tie-up
Malaysia & Singapore News
S’pore, Johor police in anti-crime tie-up
The Straits Times Asia Report. Published February 4, 2013
POLICE on both sides of the Causeway have teamed up to provide pamphlets on how to get help in each country and avoid falling victim to crime.
Four of the five pamphlets, in this first cross-border crime- prevention initiative targeting Singapore and Malaysia travellers, carry tips on how to ward off theft, violent property crime, outrage of modesty and cheating scams.
The fifth is a guide on banned items here. All the brochures list police contact numbers.
The initiative is spearheaded by the Jurong Police Division and Johor Police Contingent.
“With the rise of Iskandar, we see an extra need to intensify our efforts, especially from the commercial standpoint. This is in anticipation of new investors,” said Datuk Ismail Yatim, Johor’s deputy chief police officer, yesterday at the Aeon Bukit Indah Shopping Centre in Johor Baru.
The Iskandar region has drawn Singaporean investors, as well as those who visit Legoland and premium-outlet stores.
The pamphlets in English and Malay are distributed at the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints. There are also plans to make them available at tourist hot spots in Johor.
Deputy Commissioner T. Raja Kumar of the Singapore Police Force (SPF), who was at the launch ceremony yesterday, said that by raising public awareness, “we can actively encourage the community to be vigilant and safeguard themselves to avoid being victims of crime”.
Asked if the four guides represent the most common offences, an SPF spokesman said while there are no statistics on Singaporeans who report crimes to the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP), the SPF has noticed that the four highlighted in the pamphlets are more common.
He cited the rising number of cross-border “scratch-and-win” scams reported to the SPF, for instance. In 2010, there were eight cases involving about $11,000. In the first nine months of last year alone, 70 cases had been reported, involving about $330,000.
Deputy Commissioner Raja also emphasised the close ties between the police here and in Johor. RMP helped to retrieve evidence in a serial theft case after it emerged that stolen hard disks were disposed of in Malaysia last August, while the SPF has helped to detect stolen Malaysian vehicles here.
Residents in both countries welcome the collaboration. “This is a very good exchange and I believe crime prevention on both ends can improve,” said Malaysian marketing executive Chaw Ting Meng, 50, who visits Singapore at least twice a month.
Entrepreneur Rita Zahara, 37, whose family was abducted at gunpoint in Johor Baru last July, said: “People tend to have the ‘it won’t happen to me’ mentality with regard to crime. So this will equip victims to better handle anything that happens.”
Tips to protect yourself
- Carry only essential credit cards and avoid having large sums of cash.
- Do not be distracted by strangers creating a commotion.
Violent property crimes
- Do not flaunt cash or valuables in public.
- When walking along the street, ensure your handbag cannot be easily snatched.
Outrage of modesty
- If you suspect you are being followed, proceed to the nearest crowded area or call the local police hotline.
- Carry a personal shrill alarm.
- Be wary of “get-rich-quick” offers.
- Do not make payments for lucky draw “prizes”.
- Johor police: Emergency/ Hotline: 07-221-2999
- Singapore Police Force
Source: Crime Prevention pamphlets from the Singapore Police Force and the Royal Malaysia Police