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RM102m allocated for Safe City Programme next year

PETALING JAYA: A sum of RM102 million will be allocated for 149 local authorities next year to reactivate and expand the Safe City Programme, which was introduced in 2004.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said since 2004, only 39 of the 149 local authorities participated in the programme.

"It will now be reactivated and expanded to all local authorities nationwide in an effort to reduce street crime.

"A total of RM36 million had been allocated to implement the programme this year to ensure that the 39 local authorities achieve safe-city status," he told reporters after opening the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Seminar 2010, here on Thursday, Sept 30.

He said six immediate measures which emphasised proper environmental design, would he undertaken under the Safe City Programme, namely the separation of pedestrian walkways from vehicle lanes, lighting, safety alarm, safety mirrors and cleaning and clearing of unkempt areas.

"Others are the installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and the establishment of Geographical Information System (GIS)-based maps for the identification of crime hot spots," he added.

Earlier, he urged all local authorities to ensure that the Safe City Programme would be a compulsary agenda to be discussed at their monthly meetings and the outcome of crime prevention measures be submitted periodically to the ministry.

On the Global Peace Index (GPI), Chor said Malaysia was the third safest country in Asia after Japan and Singapore and placed 26th among 144 countries globally, last year.

In the 2010 GPI report, Malaysia is ranked 22nd in the world, overtaking Singapore as the safest country in Southeast Asia and coming in second behind Japan among Asian countries.

"This is something commendable for the country. However, we should not rest on our laurels and must now set our sight to the day when street crime is something of the past," he added.

On the National Key Result Area (NKRA) of reducing crime, Chor said based on the report released by the Performance Management and Delivery Unit under the Prime Minister's Department, street crime and the overall crime index had dropped by 37% and 16.24% respectively.

"Should we continue to maintain our current effort, I believe Malaysia can be one of the safest cities which is attractive for living, leisure, investment and business," he said. 

On the CPTED, he said it had been used as an approach to reduce crime through designing out crime in new residential and commercial areas.

Designing out crime is based on four main principles of CPTED adopted by international communities. These are natural surveillance, natural access control, territorial reinforcement, and management and maintenance.

"The ministry intends to introduce the CPTED implementation guide as a reference document for all related decision-makers, planners, managers and designers.

"The document will outline the fundamental requirements for designing and managing the built environment so that our communities, towns and cities are safer, secure and therefore sustainable. This guide contains a summary of the concept, general guidelines and a user-friendly checklist," Chor said. 

CPTED, he said, was applicable not only for new developments, but could also be implemented in existing development areas.

"The stakeholders, especially the property developers and designers, are encouraged to implement CPTED creatively instead of being compelled by laws and regulations.

"This is simply because incorporation of CPTED in any development will enhance the living environment, safety, quality of life and ensure higher returns on property value," he added.

Also present were the ministry's secretary-general Datuk Ahmad Kabit and coordinator of the NKRA Safe City Programme, Federal Department of Town and Country Planning, Kamaruddin Shamsuddin. — Bernama
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