Proham Logo

Proham Logo

Sunday, 9 June 2013


By Shahanaaz Habib  Kuala Lumpur  (Sunday STAR June 9, 2013:)

It is crucial to build and improve the capability and capacity of police investigation in dealing with the problem of death in police custody, said Association for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham) secretary-general Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria.
He said having an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) would be good but that alone would not resolve the situation.

“Police brutality is used to extract information because if you just bring a guy in and want him to talk, chances are he won't tell you the truth.
“So you have to trap the person through other evidence. We have very good forensics now but there has to be more investigative policing. The police have to do their homework. They have to improve the quality of their investigations and their ability to ask questions.

“And there is a need for more personnel because currently less than 25% of the police are involved in investigative policing.
“The rest are doing escort service and other protection work,” said Dr Denison, who was a member of the Royal Police Commission in 2005 that looked into enhancing the operation and management of the force and came up with the recommendation to set up the IPCMC.

He pointed out that in a number of developed countries when there was a murder, a team including a psychologist, detectives and other experts would go down to study the case.
“You can't have just the everyday policemen solve repetitive crime in an area. You need trained professionals in their field of expertise,” he added.

There has been an outcry of late when people being detained in police lockups have died. Last month, there were three deaths in police custody within 11 days.
Groups have renewed calls to set up the IPCMC to address the problem of deaths in custody.

Dr Denison said the culture of “hammering suspects” to extract information had to change because it violated human rights.
“Police stations should be the safest place any person can go to, even if he was a criminal but public perception now is that it is not safe.”

Dr Denison also said the standard operation procedure (SOP) was central to addressing the issue.
“What is the SOP when you arrest a suspect? When do you question him? Do you put him in a cell and is he there alone?”
© 1995-2013 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)

No comments:

Post a Comment