Rep urges police to investigate lock-up rape incident without fear or favour

Irene Chang

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SIBU, Jan 19: The rape of a 16-year-old female detainee at the Miri police station by a male suspect on Jan 9, should be a wake-up call to all police stations in the country to buck up and put things right within their own walls.

Bukit Assek assemblywoman, Irene Chang in her statement today said it is only then that the public can have confidence towards and integrity be restored among the men and women in blue.

In welcoming the statement by the Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador that there shall be no compromise and all those found responsible for the rape incident shall be charge in court, Chang wanted the police investigation to be conducted without fear or favour even against one of their own.

“From the investigation, the police should also give an account for the violation of the provisions of the Child Act 2001 on why a child was allowed to be detained in a police lock-up and why was no female officer was assigned to take care of the juvenile in the lock-up since she was a female,” she said in a statement.

The police should also clarify and be answerable on why was the CCTV in the lock-up was not functioning and did not capture a recording of the incident, she added.

Chang said an incident like this which happened in a police station is the reason why generally the public has no confidence that the police would protect them from offences or crimes committed against them.

“It is also the reason why many offences go unreported as the people do not have the confidence that their cases would be resolved and the offenders would be punished according to the law. And what had happened in the Miri police station had reinforced that general perception,” she said.

“How could the suspect get hold of the keys to the girl’s lock-up and could commit the rape without anyone raising an alarm?” she asked.

Although not every police officer nor every police station deserve to be tarred with the same brush, incidences like this do nothing to assuage the people’s poor perception of the police force on the whole, she asserted

She said if the police want to restore their tarnished reputation and to rebuild public trust and regain the people’s confidence in them, they need to practise transparent decision-making and accountability

Chang commended the victim for reporting the rape as brave and recommendable.

“Rape is one of the most demoralising types of crime violating human rights. And as a rape victim, it is never easy to report the rape. The victim would have to deal with the stigma and the suspicions of whether she had in anyway done anything to encourage the incident. She would now also have to relive the nightmare during the hearing of the court case against the suspect,” she pointed out. — DayakDaily