In the news report I covered in this post, the BN representative for Pengkalan Rinting (Johor) Low Teh Hian said that the Johor police force’s quoted ratio of 1 cop to every 3000 Johoreans was ridiculous.
To quote: “Logically, after senior citizens, children and the disabled are excluded, police only have to monitor a few but there are still a lot of snatch theft cases.”
Mic asked if I could verify the statistics above. So I went and found some. Go to the United Nation Development Programme site to download the full PDF file (732 kb).
The year 2000 statistics for Johor showed that there were 2.59 million people residing in Johor. Of these, Bumiputera made up 57.1%, Chinese 35.4%, Indian 6.9% and Others 0.6%. Not relevant to my calculations, but for your viewing below anyway.
The next chart shows the employed and unemployed population of Johor by age, year 2000.
Now, the definition of ‘senior citizen’ usually follows the retirement age (56 in Malaysia), but what I think Mr. Low meant was that the police don’t need to consider old folk, kids and the disabled as potential criminals.
So going by my own logical definition, males younger than 15 or older than 49 are unlikely to be the prime suspects for serial killings, armed robberies and gang rapes. (Notice I’m assuming that in the society of our fallen world, even teenage boys can partake in vicious crimes.)
All females are also exempted – being an accomplice doesn’t count for this post.
Having discounted those demographics, that leaves roughly 792,360 males as potential violent criminals. Yes, I spent quite some time and effort measuring and calculating that number.
Now the statistics from that PDF file are quite dated, more than 7 years old. So I’m factoring in the time difference.
The population of Malaysia in 2000 was 23.27 million (according to Department of Statistics Malaysia), and it will be 24.82 million by July 2007 (according to the CIA World Factbook). That’s an increase of 6.661%.
Assuming that the Johorean male population increased by a similar percentage, that means as of July 2007 there are about 845,139 males between the ages 15-49. Now for the payoff for all these data mining calculations.
According to Wong Chun Wai’s article , the Johor police force is 3000 strong and recruiting 2000 more.
Now at 3000 police to 845,139 males who have the potential to be violent criminals (including yours truly), that is a ratio of 1 : 282. If you add in the new recruits, bolstering the police force to 5000 members, the ratio becomes 1 : 169.
Definitely nowhere near the ratio of 1 : 3000 as mocked by Mr. Low. But remember, a large number of the police force will be tied up issuing traffic summons, directing traffic and sorting out paperwork. And the police personnel have shifts, further reducing the man-hours available to continuously watch the streets.
Now let’s instead assume that the police watch over the safety of innocent civilians, rather than keep an eye on potential crooks. Assume also that all kids below 15 and senior citizens above 49 stay at home, and assume a roughly 1 to 1 ratio between males and females.
If the Johor police were to keep a protective watch over these out-and-about people, that would still be a ratio of 1 : 564 (or 1 : 338 when the 2000 new recurits are factored in).
The criminals, however, seem fond of breaking and entering, thus nullifying the safety advantage of staying indoors.
Therefore, if the police keep watch on just the males who have the potential to rob, rape and murder, it would be a lot easier on them than to take care of every innconet citizen. Easy to say, not easy to do at all!
So what I suggest is frequent, randomly moving patrols at night – a simple measure that makes it much more likely potential criminals will be caught in the act and have to abandon their nefarious plans halfway.
Hope I’ve been helpful.