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Building owners in crime-prone areas must install CCTVs

KUALA LUMPUR: The police will soon have their eyes on every building in crime-prone areas. The owners or tenants of these buildings will be required to install closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cameras which will be linked to police control centres.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who expressed concern over the crime situation in the country, said the move was necessary to combat the rising crime index.

“With CCTVs installed in strategic locations, we believe we can prevent crime and even if someone commits a crime, the police will be able to act fast,” he said.

He said the directive, to cover major areas like the capital, Selangor, Penang and Johor which had rising crime indices, must be implemented from today.

The Prime Minister was earlier briefed on the crime situation in the country by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan, acting CID director Deputy Comm Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani and police director of management Datuk Abdul Razak Bokhari at the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman yesterday.

The Prime Minister, who will bring up the matter at today’s Cabinet meeting, said building owners or tenants would be required to use their own funds to install and operate the CCTVs including employing workers to operate them.

He said the police would be empowered to decide where the CCTVs should be installed.

Abdullah said owners of private buildings must ensure the safety of their patrons at all times.

“People are (now) scared to go out shopping or to night markets or park their cars in basement car parks for fear of becoming victims of crimes,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter whether they are the building owners or tenants, they cannot debate the matter. They cannot say that there’s no need for CCTVs or give any excuse for not installing them,” he said, adding that action would be taken against owners or tenants who refused to adhere to the directive.

He said the high crime rate not only caused problems to the people who live in fear of being victims but also uneasiness among foreign investors.

Abdullah reminded the people that crime prevention efforts involved everyone.

He also said those concerned should install good quality equipment, pointing out: “It would be pointless if the video recordings were useless.”

“We must act fast and ensure the safety of the people in towns, kampungs, shopping complexes and restaurants as well as places where tourists and the public congregate,” he added.

Also present at the function were Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Johari Baharom, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohamed Sidek Hassan, directors of the various police departments and all state chief police officers.

In an immediate reaction, the Malaysian Association for Shopping and Highrise Complex Management (PPK) expressed support for the move, saying that it would improve security at shopping complexes, ESTHER CHANDRAN and STUART MICHAEL report.

1 Utama Shopping Centre public relations assistant manager Lee Li Lian said it would help owners of shopping centres to work closer with the police.

“1 Utama welcomes the initiative and looks forward to working with the police on enhancing security,” she added.

Sungei Wang Plaza marketing and promotions manager K.K. Lim said the move would enhance public safety since the CCTVs would be directly linked to the nearest police station.

Condominium, Apartment and Highrise Committee (CAHC) vice-chairman Khong Chee Seng also lauded the move to make it mandatory for owners of high-rise buildings to install CCTVs.

“It will certainly beef up security and the Government should make it mandatory for CCTVs to be installed at condominium carparks and the main entrance to various floors.

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