Thursday September 20, 2012
Shafie: Criminals are avoiding areas covered by system
By ANDY CHUA
SIBU: The Sibu Urban Surveillance System spearheaded by Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) with the support of the police has proven to be a very effective crime prevention initiative.
The system consists of 54 closed circuit televisions (CCTVs) placed in strategic locations around the town’s central business district.
District police chief ACP Shafie Ismail said this during a briefing for Kuching City South Hall delegation led by Deputy Mayor Abang Affandi Abang Annuar on Tuesday.
Shafie said would-be criminals avoided Sibu’s central business district as they realised that they were being closely watched.
The project was implemented jointly by Emastech (an associate of PANSAR Group) and Danawa, a telecommunications company.
Started in 2008, there are 54 CCTVs on a 24-hour surveillance of the town.
All images are fed to the police headquarters here where they are monitored 24 hours a day by officers working on three shifts.
SMC chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King recently said the council had written to the police chief to inquire about the effectiveness of the system in combating crime.
“These CCTVs have an intimidating effect on criminals, something like that of a scarecrow effect,” ACP Shafie said.
He said he was proud that Sibu was gaining a reputation as a town that was “not safe for snatch thieves and other criminals”.
“I am extremely happy that SMC has proven itself to be such a serious partner to PDRM in crime prevention.
“They have walked the talk and are doing their part. I cannot be happier with a local council that has risen to this challenge in making Sibu safer together with the police,” he said.
ACP Shafie said he hoped that all parties, including the private sector and neighbourhood committees, would work together with SMC and the police in expanding the CCTV network to cover more angles, including Sibu’s backlanes and residential areas.
“Beyond the central business district, we hope that all parties concerned can come together and see how we can further expand the CCTV coverage.
“SMC and PDRM cannot do it alone and fast enough without the support of the people and the private sector,” ACP Shafie said.
Stressing that the system should be enhanced and expanded for it to be even more effective, he was optimistic that combined with the implementation of other NKRA initiatives in crime prevention, the town would be a safer and better place to live in.
Among those in the delegation from MBKS were councillor Barbara Tan Sri William Mawan, councillor Sufian Ateng, acting secretary John Lee Hok Kong, engineer Law Ted Min, chief enforcement officer Shaharum Ibrahim, info tech officer Tay Guan Huat and Geoffrey Ramji from Dewan Bandaraya Kuching Utara (DBKU).
The delegation was in Sibu for a two-day visit to better understand the implementation and workings of the Sibu Urban Surveillance System.