Crime statistics may seem abstract but when it affects people you know, then it becomes more real. Over the last few weeks, I have come across the following incidents affecting relatives, friends and people I know. (more…)
This was the sort of day for me that encapsulated a lot of what it means to be Malaysian today.
Interfaith dialogue, understanding one another
In the afternoon, I dropped by at the St Anne’s Catholic Church in Bukit Mertajam, which was holding a dialogue session with Dr Dzul, the MP for Kuala Selangor and Pas central committee member.
This is Dr Dzul engaging in open and frank dialogue with Fr Henry Rajoo, the parish priest over some of the contentious issues in Malaysia. This was a dialogue and not a debate, the crowd was told. The mood was one of willingness to listen to the other’s point of view, trying to get to know and understand one another. (more…)
Now this is why the Penang state government should not go ahead with its plan to install CCTV cameras in crime-prone areas. The only people to benefit will be the camera and equipment suppliers.
The UK has the most CCTV cameras – but it has been an utter fiasco as this report from This is London: reveals:
Billions spent on CCTV have failed to cut crime and led to an ‘utter fiasco’, says Scotland Yard surveillance chief
Last updated at 11:22am on 07.05.08
The billions of pounds spent covering Britain with CCTV cameras has been an “utter fiasco” and failed to slash crime, Scotland Yard’s surveillance chief has said.
Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville said a Metropolitan Police pilot project found just three per cent of street robberies in London were solved using CCTV images.
He claimed the vast swathes of money spent on cameras had been wasted because criminals don’t fear the cameras.
But Mr Neville also castigated the police and claimed officers can’t be bothered to seek out CCTV images because it’s “hard work”.
The comments from Mr Neville, who is the head of the Visual Images, Identifications and Detections Office (Viido) at Scotland Yard, will further cast doubt on the spread of surveillance in Britain.
Britain has one per cent of the world’s population but, incredibly, 20 per cent of its CCTV cameras – the equivalent of one for every 14 people.
Last year it emerged the £200m spent on 10,000 crime-fighting cameras in London had had little effect on reducing offending.
A comparison of the number of cameras in each London borough with the proportion of crimes solved there found that police were no more likely to catch offenders in areas with hundreds of cameras than in those with hardly any.
Speaking at a security conference in London, Mr Neville claimed the use of CCTV images for court evidence had been very poor so far.
He said: “CCTV was originally seen as a preventative measure.
“Billions of pounds have been spent on kit, but no thought has gone into how the police are going to use the images and how they will be used in court.
“It’s been an utter fiasco: only three per cent of crimes were solved by CCTV.
“Why don’t people fear it? They think the cameras are not working.”…
So please don’t waste public money on CCTV cameras. Rather, get to the root causes of the rising crime rate and tackle them.
Meanwhile, hot off the oven:
Question #47 – Mei 2008
Liew Chin Tong (Bukit Bendera) asks the Minister of Housing and Local Government to state the direction and time frame to establish local council elections to start a new chapter of democracy in Malaysia.
The Government does not plan to conduct any local council elections.
Well, we can’t wait for the BN-led Federal Government, which is so out of touch with the people’s aspirations. The Pakatan state governments must come up with a quick road map to push through local government elections.