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Bogus cop menace

Bogus cop menace
By shaza
Created Wednesday, September 21st
This year alone, 26 cases reported in ‘Little India’ with more unreported by fearful expats
Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 11:40:00

LITTLE INDIA: A hub of foreign residents — and bogus copsBRICKFIELDS: A pair of shiny shoes and navy blue pants seem to be enough to fool a foreigner into thinking those wearing them are always policemen.
And police have disclosed Brickfields has emerged as a ‘hot spot’ for bogus cops preying on foreigners and expatriates, with 26 cases of police impersonation reported there since January.
The matter first came to light when an expat wrote in to The Malay Mail to highlight the rising number of foreigners harassed by men donning shiny shoes, navy pants and behaving like cops.
The writer, who requested anonymity in his letter, said: “In the pretext of checking their documents and robbing them o their money, mobile phones, jewellery etc… have created an alarming situation. More and more expats are falling prey to these organised criminals”.
Brickfields district police chief ACP Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid said the number of bogus cops was on the rise due to the large presence of foreigners living and working in the area.
“From the beginning of this year, our reports show more foreigners have been duped as they don’t know how to differentiate an actual policeman or recognise the various authorities.”
He said not many police reports had been lodged on such cases, at least not enough to help nab the culprits.
“We hear members of the public talking about it, with some writing in to the media and others bodies, but there are many more victims who have yet to make police reports that could help us catch these culprits.
“We have set up a police mobile beat base in Brick elds and pad it up with a high police presence within the vicinity. What’s frustrating is that victims are not making use of the facility.”
Police have also formed a special team to build rapport with Brickfields residents, including foreigners, to educate them on ways to identify a real cop.
Of the 26 cases, 13 suspects have been nabbed and ve have been brought to court.

In fear of fake cops
Foreigners living in ‘Little India’ often the victims of police impersonators
THE last thing expatriates in Brickfields want is a brush with the law.
This was what The Malay Mail gathered when we visited the area and spoke to expats as well as locals residing there.
Some locals voiced concern as foreigners found it difficult to differentiate policemen from other law enforcement officers or impersonators.
A Brickfields resident of 15 years said some foreigners mistook security guards for policemen due to their similar appearance in donning a baton and shiny black shoes.
“They (foreigners) can get so naive and get scared of even security guards,” said the resident, who chose to remain unidentified.
Said another local: “Some foreigners could also be illegals with criminal records. So, even when they come across a fake cop, they don’t think twice. They would rather lose their watch or whatever money and valuables they have to avoid further complications.”
A foreigner living and working in Brickfields for the last five years, said: “Foreigners have really nothing to fear about. Instead, they just don’t want to be singled out for anything that could jeopardise their presence. They just want to quietly earn a living and the opportunity to send back money to their homeland.
“Many a time, foreigners choose to give in to whatever is demanded of them to avoid further problems.”
The Paper That Cares’ observation in Brickfields also showed an increase in police presence in the vicinity, particularly near condominiums, where most foreigners dwell.


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