Citizen participation in crime prevention:a study in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Pang, Heng Lau and Kamsiah, Ali (2019) Citizen participation in crime prevention:a study in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGICAL RESEARCH, POLICY AND PRACTICE, 5 (2). pp. 144-160. ISSN 2056-3841

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Purpose–The purpose of this paper is to discuss citizen participation in crime prevention in Kuching,Malaysia. This is a study of how citizen participated in crime prevention has helped in crime reduction inKuching. Roles of citizen in crime prevention with the police have been included in this study. Result showedthat citizen and police joint crime prevention has succeeded in crime reduction in Kuching.Design/methodology/approach–Three methods of data collection were used in this research study: first,face-to-face interviews of 500 head of households in Kuching. They are selected using systematic samplingamong the 159,000 households in Kuching. Second, in-depth interviews of 36 respondents involvingcommunity leaders and crime watch groups; and third, secondary crime statistics from the Royal MalaysiaPolice. It is based on actual crime reported to the police.Findings–Police and citizen involvement in crime prevention are effective in reducing crime. Citizenparticipation in crime prevention was 80.6 per cent. The higher the frequency police and citizen involvement incrime prevention patrols, the lesser the level of crime. With increased joint patrol by police and citizen in theneighbourhood, the level of crime will be lower, and safety will improve, and this is particular valid in the caseof the nine geographical areas covered under Kuching police district.Research limitations/implications–This study focused on citizen participation in crime prevention inKuching police district only.Practical implications–Police and citizen participation in crime prevention play a key role in crimereduction. This study argued that police and citizen frequent patrol will improve safety in the community.Training plays a key role for citizen to participate in crime prevention. Joint crime prevention patrol calls for anew breed of police officers who can work with the citizens. In return, the citizens trust the police to lead themin crime prevention.Social implications–With citizen participation in crime prevention, the community will be safer, peacefulresulting in less crime. Citizens acted as an eye and ear to the police. As and when a citizen see a suspiciousperson in the neighbourhood, he informs the police. When the police arrives, the suspicious person who mayhave a criminal intent will either be arrested by the police or escaped before the police arrived.Originality/value–This paper provides an insight into crime prevention exercise involving the citizens. Thesame concept can be implemented throughout Malaysia. Police needs to involve citizens always in crimeprevention. Police and the community are one big family.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Crime prevention, Policing, Community policing, Citizen participation, Crime watch
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Faculty of Social Sciences & Humanities
Faculties, Institutes, Centres > Faculty of Social Sciences & Humanities
Depositing User: Tuah
Date Deposited: 24 Dec 2020 02:09
Last Modified: 24 Dec 2020 02:09

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