Monday, June 1, 2009

Kuang villagers lead the way with Village Security Patrol Units

The Star Online

THE Selangor government has introduced a neighbourhood watch programme for the suburbs and outskirts which will involve residents patrolling their villages to reduce crime.

The first of these units, called the Village Security Patrol Units (Unit Kawalan Keselamatan Kampung, UKKK), was set up at Kuang, near Sungai Buloh recently.

The villagers in Kuang have given their support to the formation of UKKK, which is similar to the Rukun Tetangga programme of the 1970s and 1980s.

Informing the others: A UKKK member speaking on a walkie-talkie at Lorong Mangga in Kampung Chempedak, while a few other members, on motorcycles, wait.

Some of the villagers turned up for the night patrol with torchlights, batons, walkie-talkie and whistles.

Selayang MP William Leong, who joined the villagers during one of their night patrols recently, was impressed with the good turnout at the designated areas in Kuang.

Some of the villagers even turned up in their sarongs.

Others were making coffee in a kettle to keep themselves alert throughout the night.

“This is a good way to get youths involved in helping to deter crime instead of participating in unhealthy activities like lepak and illegal motorbike racing.

Having a chat: Leong (right) talking to the volunteers doing their rounds in Ladang Baru, Sungai Buloh.

“Each time we ask the police personnel about the crime rate getting higher in the area, the police always say they are short-handed and there are not enough patrol cars, especially with the high crime throughout Selayang area.

“So, we took this matter into our own hands and formed this UKKK. Eventually, other areas throughout Selangor will adopt this concept to keep the neighbourhood safe, especially in villages,” Leong said, adding that he used to do this when he was living in Petaling Jaya about 30 years ago.

Leong was at the event to give biscuits and mineral water to six UKKK zones, which he had visited throughout Kuang.

“The UKKK people on patrol do not have the power to arrest thieves. They have the contact numbers of the Rakan Cop and the nearest police station should they come across any suspects in their area.

“All this is on a voluntary basis – even items like torch lights, vest, sticks and walkie-talkie are their own.

“I will be requesting the Selangor government to provide some of the zones an allowance for those who ride their motorcycles during the patrolling,” he said.

Resident R. Subramaniam of Taman Prima Selayang was impressed with the commitment of the villagers and their interest in forming a UKKK in Taman Prima Selayang.

Subramaniam said a total of 400 motorcycles, 72 cars and 13 lorries had been stolen in the area since he has lived there for the last eight years.

“Residents there are very fearful that their vehicles might get stolen. We have to put a stop to it and so we came here to see how the UKKK is being run,” he added.

There are six UKKK zones in Kuang – Ladang Baru, Balai JPK Ladang Baru, Surau Al-Munirah, Lorong Mangga, Lorong Beringin and Kampung Damai – involving a total of 36 people – with each zone having about five or six people at any one time.

The UKKK patrol starts at midnight and continues until 5am daily.

Kuang UKKK zone director Saad Ramilan said so far, 30 vests, 12 walkie-talkies, 60 T-Shirts, 10 torchlights and some batons had been sponsored for the unit and distributed to the six zones.

“With so many villagers helping out, each person need only do one shift a week, which is quite reasonable for working people.

“Last week, our patrol managed to deter a house break-in in Lorong Atap in Kampung Chempedak and a thief just ran away. We want tell thieves out there that the UKKK is here is stay and will keep doing this until crime rates are low.

“We don’t want to catch the thieves in the act but if we do, it is a bonus. We just want to deter thieves from coming to our village to steal and we will send a clear message to everyone out there,” he said.

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