MIRI: WhatsApp group chats created by the Pujut Residents Committee as a crime watch tool have received a positive response from people in the area.
Joint chairman of the resident committee councillor Bruce Chai said the group chats created on popular smartphone instant messaging app WhatsApp were created to serve as an alternative form of communication for users living in and around Pujut to facilitate the sharing of information and to alert them on any suspicious activities in their area.
The Pujut Residents Committee already have our own WhatsApp group and Facebook page to address people concerned about criminal issues.
In light with the increasing number of crimes happening in Pujut recently, members of the committee agreed to diversify the existing WhatsApp groups, splitting Pujut into two zones: Northern Pujut and Southern Pujut, he stated when contacted by The Borneo Post recently.
He explained that Southern Pujut covered Pujut 1 to Pujut 6 while Northern Pujut covers Pujut 7 to Pujut 10, including Taman RPR. Thus far, he noted that some 100 people have joined the Southern Pujuts WhatsApp group while another 60 have joined the Northern Pujut WhatsApp group.
Chai added that each zone was equally represented by residents who can share information of any suspicious activities and provide useful information to catch would-be criminals. He is also looking into the need to install civilian CCTVs in residential areas, particularly those which are prone to crime.
Perhaps Pujut could be the starting point for a pilot project regarding the installation of such CCTVs, he said.
At the same time, he also highlighted the need to improve the street lights in the residential areas. He sought cooperation from residents to take early crime prevention steps by clearing their house compound or vacant land from overgrown vegetation which could become hiding spots for those up to no good.