I REFER to Syed Azauddin's letter, "Eradicate smuggling of guns" (NST, Sept 18) and would like to express my sincere thanks for his suggestions and my appreciation for his concern regarding crime involving firearms.
Even though the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime reported that firearms homicides were still low in Malaysia, police have always viewed firearms-related crime cases with utmost concern.
As rightly pointed out by the writer, "if left unchecked, gun violence will increase". This undoubtedly will have serious consequences on public safety.
The writer stated that 51 per cent of homicides (murder cases) in Malaysia was committed using guns.
However, this is incorrect as the reported cases of homicide involving the use of firearms for the last three years in the country averaged about 8.7 per cent.
The Serious Crime Division (D9), Criminal Investigation Department, is tasked with the responsibility of mitigating and managing cases of firearms crimes and the prevention and suppression of firearms smuggling.
Apart from working with relevant units within the police force, D9 also cooperates, shares intelligence and carries out joint operations on a regular basis with other local law enforcement agencies and the army.
Sharing of intelligence is also held on a regular basis with the relevant enforcement agencies of neighbouring countries.
Arrests for illegal possession and seizures of firearms continue to be one of our priorities.
In 2010, a total of 137 firearms were seized. Last year, 160 were seized and up till August this year, 138 were seized.
We are committed and will continue to pursue new areas and spare no effort to monitor and prevent illegal weapons from falling into the wrong hands.
Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Mohd Zinin, Director of Criminal Investigation Department, Royal Malaysia Police, Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur