The headlines today report that the police force will soon be equipped with the latest hi-tech gadgetry and gizmos to battle the evil forces of crime. Like, they need helicopters to catch snatch thieves? Anyway, I think it's a good move to keep up with the times. I just hope they also acquire some anti-corruption technology.
There are some other things the police might want to improve, such as motivating their officers to be more enthusiastic about arriving at accident scenes. The first people to arrive at an accident scene are the tow truck touts and middlemen. I usually refer to them as gangsters and insurance fraudsters. Where are the police? Where is the investigation? It seems like they don't show up unless someone dies. It is no wonder that we don't learn from tragedies, because no one bothers to investigate the causes. Does anyone really really know the cause of the bus crash that killed 22 passengers? People continue to tailgate because there is no punishment for it in the event of an accident. The driving licence demerit scheme does not work. Does anyone fear getting their driving licence suspended? And there's talk about insurance companies charging different vehicle insurance premiums based on the accident record of drivers, in order to promote road safety and reward careful drivers. Now tell me, how is this going to work if the police don't investigate accident scenes to determine the party at fault?
Another area that the police should consider is regulating vehicle number plates. Right now, there is no one regulating number plates. It's literally do-it-yourself. Since vehicles are becoming essential tools of criminals, it is imperative that vehicles should be identifiable. How many times have you read news reports that said the police checked the plate number and found that it was false? Hello, making a number plate is almost as easy as making a photocopy of a MyKad. Any criminal with half a brain would drive around with a few sets of plates in the boot, ready to change at any time. Imagine if the NRD just gave out ID certificates for you to keep at home and told everyone to make your own MyKad, as long as you display the ID number. That's what the JPJ is doing to vehicle owners. You get an official ownership document, but make your own number plate. By the way, it's wrong to say that a number plate is "fake", because in the first place, have you ever seen a genuine one? It's like, have you ever seen a fake RM3 note? No. Because there no genuine RM3 note in the first place. The number on the plate may be fake, but the plate itself cannot be described as fake. So, number plates should be standard-issue with legible and visible typeface. The police should get rid of those Putrajaya number plates with microscopic lettering. If the police want to catch crooks on CCTV, the vehicle number plates have got to be visible and legible. Case in point: by tracing the getaway vehicle number plate, the police were able to trace the guys who stole the Homer Simpson figure from 1 Utama. Ironically and most unfortunately, when it comes to life-and-death situations, the police can't seem to find a trace.
And of course, another outstanding item that the police need to resolve is the emergency telephone number. Right now, there is 999, 994 and 991. On certain mobile phones, you are supposed to dial 112. So, which number do you call in what situation? And now, we are also told to call the nearest police station directly. What if I'm new to the area, or just passing through? How am I to know the direct line of a police station unless I live in the area? The issue of a setting up a centralized emergency number has been ding-donging for long enough. It doesn't take rocket science to figure out the solution.
So, while the police get on with the hi-tech drive, I hope they also consider some low-tech but equally important "technology".