(Pic credits to http://worldmilitaryintel.blogspot.com/2013/05/blog-post_3993.html)

The neighbourhood watch is an initiative supported and introduced by the police authorities in 2008 with the purpose of empowering local villagers and communities to secure their areas through joint-operations and intel-sharing. Most of the village MPKs (Majlis Perundingan Kampong) have a neighbourhood watch team to carry out the said duties and responsibilities. The chair tends to the village leader or Ketua Kampong. With the increased crime rates plaguing the nation, it is best for the government, relevant authorities, and village leaders to intensify the initiative forward as a way to secure safety for the nation at the local level. There are three important components that have to be considered on why this is so.

The first component of the neighbourhood watch that merits attention is how it can enhance intelligence sharing and active partnering of local communities with the relevant security agencies. The local MPKs must be continually engaged with the police and its respective branch forces to share information which could help identify potential criminals or suspects in their respective areas. At the same time, the security agencies must also share information pertaining targeted hardened criminals (who have probably served their terms) residing in the village groups in order that they can serve as a watchful eye and ears of these persons for the police.

Secondly, the regular joint-police patrols around the neighbourhoods with the local committee members can deter potential crimes provided that the measures are updated and enhanced. The development of a systematic and orderly patrol unit composed of highly committed villagers and police patrols ensure that results can be worthwhile. An added suggestion would be for the patrols to be held in morning and afternoon, not just in the evening or late midnights. The members must keep a watchful eye for any suspicious activities done around the areas surroundings especially. This must range from what is happening next door to being in a restaurant, at the community sports hall to the roadside.

Finally, the committee has to actively promote information and details on how their communities can protect and secure their homes. People take it for granted the measures they need to keep their homes safe. It is up to the local community themselves to remain each other on the best way to secure their homes. An example could be Ali reminding his neighbour not to post his holiday details on social media. Or Zara can, for instance, give contacts to make gates to her local neighbourhood. All in all, we need to create a unified community bent at upholding security and safety for the village through information sharing.

Overall, the neighbourhood watch is a great initiative that has to be intensified to combat criminality in our country. The MPKs and the police force have to work hand-in-hand to ensure that security, order, peace, and safety are promoted in every step of the way. While the neighbourhood watch may be a good solution, we must also understand that the rising crime cannot be stopped by this initiative alone. It is a complex issue that can not be explained and solved in a straightforward manner. Nonetheless, we have to be active in our efforts to combat crime and iIntensifying the neighbourhood watch is one of such solutions.