The number of snatch thefts and cases of unarmed robberies in Kuala Lumpur has seen a 57% increase this year
This was revealed by Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Mazlan Lazim, who said that a total of 1,010 cases have been recorded in 2017, compared to 640 cases for the same period last year.
Mazlan said this at the police headquarters yesterday, 4 December.
According to Mazlan, the victims' carelessness has contributed to the rise in snatch theft and robbery cases
TheSun Daily reported him as attributing the increase to the public's lack of vigilance towards their own belongings, which in turn provided opportunities for criminals to target them.
"Whatever criminals can see, they can also take. They will loiter around looking for the opportunity and they will strike if people are careless. So do not give them that chance to strike," he said.
Mazlan explained that in some situations, criminals found the opportunity to strike when pedestrians did not remain vigilant of their surroundings as they were walking while talking on their phones.
It was also revealed that Bukit Bintang, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman and areas near shopping malls have been identified as among the hotspots targeted by these criminals.
The authorities are working towards executing various initiatives in response to the increasing snatch thefts and unarmed robbery cases
"In order to curb snatch theft cases, we will launch the anti-snatch theft and unarmed robbery campaign in the near future.
"I have also instructed the Kuala Lumpur Crime Investigation Department to form a strategic partnership with the D4 division (crime intelligence) and D9 (special investigation) to tackle such cases," Mazlan was quoted as saying by Bernama.
It was also learned that the police have created a special team to deal with the crimes targeted at tourist attraction areas.
Despite the rise in the snatch theft and robbery cases, it is noted that the overall crime index in the city has decreased by more than 25%
Statistics from the police revealed that a total of 11,815 criminal cases were recorded this year compared with 15,785 last year.
Mazlan said property crime index decreased by over 31% from 12,287 cases last year to 8,373 cases this year, while violent crimes also decreased by 1.6% to 3,440 cases this year.