State police chief Datuk T. Narenasagaran said despite the increase in crime index rate, the crime activities reported in the state were still under control. (NSTP/DANIAL SAAD)

GEORGE TOWN: Penang experienced a slight increase in the crime index rate for the first quarter of this year compared with last year.

According to the latest statistics, there was an increase of 86 cases from 1,616 cases last year to 1,702 this year, an increase of 1.2 per cent.

About 54.3 per cent of the cases were solved, with those successfully prosecuted at courts recorded at 40 per cent involving 122 detainees.

State police chief Datuk T. Narenasagaran said despite the increase in crime index rate, the crime activities reported in the state were still under control.

"The crime index rate is just an indicator and it is related to the number of police reports lodged. At times, people have more confidence in police, hence they have come forward to report any wrongdoings.

"The crime index rate usually fluctuates. Penang is under control. On average, there are 15 cases where we opened investigations daily compared with other locations where there are up to 40 cases," he said after the police monthly assembly at the state police contingent headquarters here today.

Meanwhile, Narenasagaran said for the month of April, there were seven disciplinary investigation papers opened involving eight low-ranking policemen involved in crime, drugs and other disciplinary cases.

This was an increase from seven policemen for April last year.

He stressed that the police would be working hard to reduce it to zero cases.

"The investigation papers can be opened even for the lightest of action done when they do not abide by the SOP (standard operating procedure) and protocols.

"Initial actions taken are warning and counselling, but for those tested positive for drugs during our periodic inspection, they will be charged at the courts as well," he added.