Slower economy 'could lead to rise in crimes'

KUALA LUMPUR • A slowdown in Malaysia's economic growth is likely to see a corresponding rise in crimes of opportunity over the next two years, said Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

He urged the police and the community to be more vigilant against crimes such as snatch thefts and muggings.

"Although there has been success in reducing crime in these areas, the dampened state of the economy is likely to see a rise in crimes of opportunity in the next one or two years," he said in Parliament yesterday in reply to a question by a backbencher.

MP Noraini Ahmad had asked if the police were able to identify foreigners involved in snatch theft cases.

Datuk Nur Jazlan said such crimes were usually unplanned.

"What is important is for the police and community to work closely together through community policing programmes to prevent such crimes," he added.

Malaysia's central bank expects gross domestic product to grow by 4.5 per cent and 5.5 per cent this year.

Ratings agency Moodys Investor Service has forecast Malaysia's growth for next year at 4.5 per cent.

Earlier, Datuk Nur Jazlan told lawmakers there had been a decline in the national crime data since 2009.

He said a total of 186,162 crimes were recorded in 2010, with the numbers reduced to 153,669 in 2012, 147,062 in 2013 and 128,544 last year.

In a supplementary question, opposition lawmaker Fuziah Salleh said that while the overall crime statistics may have been reduced, the perception that a person might become a victim of crime remains high.

She cited a recent study of 15,000 individuals showing that half of them expressed fears of falling victim to crime.

Mr Nur Jazlan replied that efforts to allay such fears would only be achieved through ongoing community policing programmes and police deployment.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2015, with the headline 'Slower economy 'could lead to rise in crimes''. Print Edition | Subscribe