KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK): Juvenile crimes involving non-school-going children is on the rise, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as a campaign is launched to address the issue.
Violent crimes among these children increased by 5 per cent last year, while property crimes perpetrated by suspects aged 7-18 were up by 12 per cent.
"Most of this is due to the influence of drugs," he told reporters after announcing the reactivation of Rakan Cop and school crime prevention clubs to address the problem.
Juvenile crimes involving school-going children has dropped along with the overall crime index, which fell by 12.6 per cent,
But the public was still not feeling safe, said Dr Ahmad Zahid.
"Hence, we have agreed to have more crime prevention clubs in schools. There are already 6,000 clubs in primary and secondary schools and we aim to raise more awareness," he added.
Dr Ahmad Zahid also announced the reactivation of community policing programme Rakan Cop to allow the public to directly pass information on crime in their area to the relevant police officers.
He said Bukit Aman internal security/public order department director Datuk Muhammad Fuad Abu Zarim would helm the programme and work together with branches of Community Policing Malaysia.
People can join the Community Policing movement by starting their own in their housing areas, he said.