Sunday, June 29, 2003

23,000 more recruits to beef up police force

JEMPOL: The government has agreed to recruit 23,000 more police personnel at various levels to beef up the force to cope with the increasing workload.
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said this would be done in stages over the next two years.
“About 4,000 personnel have already been selected and they would be trained at the four centres in Negri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur, Sabah and Sarawak.
ATTENTION: Abdullah, with Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Norian Mai behind him, doing the inspection at the passing-out parade of trainees at the Ayer Hitam police training centre on Saturday. - Bernamapic
“We want to increase the number of rank-and-file members and officers because the police workload is getting increasingly heavy,” the Deputy Prime Minister told reporters after addressing some 1,500 trainees at the Police Training Centre here.
There are currently 80,000 police personnel of all ranks in the country.
Abdullah, who is also Home Minister, said the facilities at existing police training centres would be upgraded and new centres might be built to accommodate such a big intake.
Asked what police to population ratio the government was targeting at for adequate policing in the country, he said the government would adjust it accordingly.
“Currently, the ratio is one police officer to 3,000 people but in developed countries, the ratio is one to 300 people. We will work towards the ratio in developed countries.
“What is important now is to ensure they are given adequate training and are well-equipped to face their daily duties,” he said.
It was important, Abdullah said, that the new recruits were well versed with the law, adding that the recruitment had to be planned carefully to avoid causing congestion at the centres and compromising on the quality of training.
Abdullah was commenting on calls for the police to boost their staff strength in the wake of several violent crimes of late, the most prominent one being the rape-cum-murder of IT analyst Canny Ong in Petaling Jaya on July 13.
On another matter, the Deputy Prime Minister chided a small group of police personnel who had tarnished the image of the police force, resulting in the public losing confidence in security matters.
“I am confident the majority of the police personnel are discharging their duties diligently and in a professional manner.
“But the few who had indulged in corruption and misuse of power have tarnished the image. You can walk tall and be proud by discharging your duties well,” he added.