It is generally accepted, that when you see a crime being committed, or if you are the victim of a criminal act, it is your responsibility to report it, to trigger a detailed police investigation.
Although many people would like to seek justice, they are reluctant to make a police report. because making one is as stressful as the crime itself. A lot of time is spent at the police station, and one is sent from pillar to post, so in the end, one just gives up. Others claim that speaking to the press, to highlight a criminal act, is more productive.
Thomas Fann was given the run-around
Readers will recall the nasty incident experienced, on 27 August, by the co-founder of CAGED, Thomas Fann, who was punched by an express bus driver, for lodging a safety related complaint.
Fann was travelling form Kuala Lumpur to Johor Baru, but at a traffic light in Jalan Sungei Ujong, in Seremban, he found that the driver had fallen asleep at the wheel. Concerned for the safety of everyone on the bus and other road users, Fann phoned the bus company to request a change of driver, before continuing the journey.
Furious that a complaint had been lodged, the driver struck Fann in the face, and Fann later left the bus and made his own way to Johor Baru, where he lodged a police report.
Fann spent two hours filing his report, but the investigating officer (IO), insisted that Fann also travel to Seremban, 169 miles away, to give his statement to the police there, because this was where the incident had occured.
At Seremban, the IO told Fann that he had to undergo a medical examination at Hospital Tuanku Jaafar Seremban, although he had been examined by doctors at Hospital Sultan Aminah (HSA) in Johor Baru, the day he was attacked.
Despite his objections, the IO was adamant and Fann spent another seven hours waiting to be seen by a doctor at the Seremban hospital.
That was not the end of his ordeal, as he had to return to the police station to sign every page of his statement.
Will you pursue justice or will you give up at the first hurdle?
Fann had left Johor Baru at 7am that morning, and did not arrive home, until midnight.
He was due to give his statement at SPAD in Johor Baru, the following morning, and relate the incident which occurred on his bus journey.
Fann said, “Seeking justice is a process, and in our country, it can be an uphill task. Sometimes it is a long and costly process. There are no guarantees that you will get justice, but if you don’t try, injustices will continue to reign and we will become an accomplice because of our inaction.”
Fann is determined to pursue justice, to ensure that the safety of travellers is not put at risk by irresponsible bus drivers and operators.
Handbag snatched in Ipoh
A few years ago, when a friend’s handbag was snatched, she was told to make two police reports. The first brief report had to be made at the police station which covered her area of residence, or where the theft occurred. The second detailed report had to be made with ‘Team A’, at the police headquarters, opposite the Ipoh railway station.
Why make two reports? Have the police so much time on their hands, that they feel it necessary to waste the rakyat’s time and taxpayer’s money? Victims are already traumatised, do the police have to add to the trauma?
Drunk driver jumped a red light
The car of another friend, was written-off after a drunk driver drove into him, in Petaling Jaya. The police told him not to mention the drunkenness in his report. Why? He alleges that the police brow-beat the victims into making very brief police reports, to save police time and reduce their work load.
Erroneous crime statistics
If people are hesitant to make police reports, there is the likelihood that the statistics of crime for a particular area, will be erroneously low. This may also explain why there is a low crime index, in some areas, despite the experience of the community. So, what is your experience of lodging police reports?