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Borneo, Kuching, Malaysia, Sarawak

Cops replace Ops Payung with mobile patrols

WELL I had actually been wondering why I no longer saw our friendly policemen under big umbrellas around Kuching.

The Star enlightened me today on the fact that Kuching police have actually replaced Ops Payung with mobile patrols using cars, bicycles and on foot.

Kuching District Police Chief ACP Mun Kock Keong said the operation was about making “police presence felt” and to boost public confidence. It involves both uniformed policemen and plainclothes officers.

What I liked about Ops Payung was that it made the Police feel more approachable. Admittedly a lot of the time I felt like giving the poor policemen, and sometimes women, a cold drink, because despite sitting under the large umbrellas, I am sure it was sweltering hot in their thick dark blue uniforms.

There were times on rainy days when they would still be there and again I really felt for them. However, I appreciated the fact that they were always somewhere nearby.

ACP Mun said Ops Payung was effective but still wasted manpower because many police officers were stationary.

He said this new ‘on the street’ type operation involves concentrated patrols at four hotspots — Kenyalang Park, Tabuan Jaya, Malihah and Matang Jaya.

“You can go to all these places and see more officers on the move 24 hours and all seven days of the week,” he said in The Star report.

He added that police officers would no longer be in pondok but on the street. Sounds good. I hope police will also increase their patrols of areas frequented by tourists.

With more cops on the streets and perhaps the installation of more CCTVs in Kuching , hopefully our city will be safer and we won’t have to read of so many snatchings, carjackings and robberies on Page Two of our local newspaper every day!

The report from The Star:

Sun tanned cops

By Yu Ji

KUCHING: “Ops Payung”, the city-wide police beat with officers under sun tents, has been replaced with a more mobile “on the street” type operation across Kuching.

Local district police chief ACP Mun Kock Keong said the new crime prevention operation presently underway began recently without any major announcement.

He said the mobile operation consisted of a series of measures, including uniformed policemen and plainclothes officers, concentrated at four hotspots in the state capital namely, Kenyalang Park, Tabuan Jaya, Malihah and Matang Jaya.

“You can go to all these places and see more officers on the move 24 hours and all seven days of the week,” ACP Mun told reporters at the Central Police Station across Padang Merdeka here yesterday.

Speaking at the sixth police “meet the public” day this year, ACP Mun said the operation was about making “police presence felt” and to boost public confidence.

He said officers were patrolling in cars, bicycles and on foot.

“One thing we are telling our officers is that they all should talk to the public.

“They are to walk around, ask people simple things like, ‘How are you?’, things like that. It’s a perception thing. The best prevention is to have security presence felt.”

ACP Mun said while “Ops Payung” proved rather effective, “it was still a waste of our manpower for them to be mostly stationary under tents or indoors”.

“There are almost no more officers in ‘pondok’ anymore, by the way. They are all on the streets,” ACP Mun reiterated.

The Kuching police chief, however, declined to provide statistics like the number of officers assigned to the mobile operations, saying: “Cannot lah. That would be giving away too much information…the ‘pencuri’ (thieves) will know!”

ACP Mun said each police officer was accompanied by about four People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) members.

On whether the police would build more “pondok” around the city, Mun said the strategy was outdated.

He said many were built in the past decade in Kuala Lumpur, but again he reiterated that stationary officers could not make their presence felt.

“In Kuching, there are only two pondok. One was built by us a long a time ago at Hui Sing Garden, and another was community-funded and built at Tabuan Jaya close to Wisma Wan.

“We are not planning to build any more and we are not really encouraging any more. The ‘pondok’ is just used as bases for the mobile operations now.”

The “meet the police” event yesterday received mostly minor complaints and requests for status updates. Some members of the public came forward urging for more traffic compounds to be issued while others asked for investigation progress.

For the past five events, which began at The Spring Shopping Mall earlier this year, the police have received a total of 47 complaints.

“Of the total, the bulk of 23 were on general security matters, three were on police discipline matters, ten complaints on traffic congestions, eight on criminal cases, two public tip-offs on illicit drug matters,” ACP Mun told reporters.

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