Police: Homelessness on the rise in Sibu during pandemic, not crimes

Stanley (left) presenting a souvenir to Hasbullah after the ceremony.

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SIBU, Aug 19: Homelessness instead of crimes are showing an upward trend during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to statistics from the police in Sibu.

Sibu district police chief ACP Stanley Jonathan Ringgit said today that during a vaccination programme for the homeless from Aug 16 to 18, a total of 30 homeless individuals were identified and later registered by the welfare department.

On hand to present the certificates were Sarawak head of Crime Prevention and Community Safety Department SAC Dato Muhammed Hasbullah Ali.

“There is no increase in crime cases but the number of homeless individuals seem to have gone up. These homeless individuals can be seen roaming in town and sleeping along the five-foot-ways of shophouses,” he said.

ACP Stanley said some of the homeless individuals were aggressive and are said to have disturbed women walking past them.

“Last night, one of them, who is aggressive, was caught by us. Previously he would run away if he saw policemen. We have handed the man to the Welfare Department for further action,” ACP Stanley said.

Meanwhile, Sibu Crime Prevention and Community Safety Division head DSP Ariffin Baha said an integrated standard operating procedure (SOP) monitoring team led by the police had increased its operation to check on people dining in at eatery outlets and other places frequented by the public.

“Covid-19 cases in Sibu are under control with less than 50 new cases a day. As we want to maintain this figure, we are increasing our monitoring activities as we do not like to see people letting their guard down by not adhering to the SOPs,” he said. — DayakDaily