Welcome and thank you for coming. As we all know, this is a very important day for all of us. We are fortunate to have the representative from the Police here with us this morning to discuss on the crime issue in Kuching South.
If we keep our ears turned to either the radio or television, or if we read newspapers or magazines, we cannot fail to hear or see something on crime. In this respect, I am happy to acknowledge the move taken by the Council of the City of Kuching South, the Police and Community Associations in organizing this morning dialogue's, a move which aims at bringing residents to work together with the police in keeping their neighborhoods safe from crime.
Though the Police are entrusted with the task of fighting crime, it is not possible for them to be on their patrol everywhere all the time in anticipation of crime. The Police with its limited resources and manpower cannot on its own prevent crime effectively. Therefore, there is a need for us, the community, to come forward to assist and help the Police fight crime and achieve the gold of living in a conducive, safe and crime free environment in Kuching.
Crime prevention is a key policing strategy. It has been effective because the community fully supports it. Grassroots bodies and the private sector enthusiastically responded to the many community-based programmes spearheaded by the government the Local Council and the Police. For example, many housing estates, shopping, commercial and industrial complexes have formed their own Community Association or Neighbourhood Watch in tackling the crime. The strong bond between the community and the Police is one of our greatest assets in our fight against crime. It sets us apart from some other jurisdictions where there is deep distrust between citizens and the police.
The Council and the police will continue to engage its stakeholders and partners to promote security awareness and crime prevention practices. However, the best progammes would not be sufficient if the public does not remain vigilant. All of us must not unwillingly allow crime to happen, and by bearing in mind the following simple steps, we can help to reduce crime.
Firstly, your neighbours are your first line of defense, Your neighbours can help to look out for suspicious-looking strangers, and help watch over the security of your residence or property. Mutual acts of neighbourliness send a strong signal of solidarity against crime and would help to deter criminals.
Secondly, don't be an easy target for criminals. This includes 'hardening' your premises with security devices to prevent break-ins; and refraining from drawing attention to yourself by not carrying huge sums of cash or donning expensive jewellery. Simple acts like these can make a big difference.
Thirdly, crime prevention is everybody's business. Alert the Police immediately upon discovering a crime so that the Police and respond swiftly. Do respond to someone's call for help. Who knows, you may in turn, need somebody else's assistance in your call for help one day.
In conclusion let me emphasize that the Police cannot tackle crime alone. They need our support. All of us - the public, Council and Police - must keep up our fight against crime. Only by working together can we keep our crime rates down and safeguard our reputation as a safe, secure city.