Special unit to conduct probe into deaths in police custody - Deputy Minister

22 Mar 2022 03:35pm
Photo for illustration purposes only - Source: 123rf
Photo for illustration purposes only - Source: 123rf

KUALA LUMPUR - Starting this year, all cases of death in police custody will be investigated by the Criminal Investigation Unit on Deaths in Custody (USJKT) under the Bukit Aman Integrity and Standard Compliance Department (JIPS), said Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Mohamed Said.

He said such cases were no longer being investigated by the investigating officer at the district police headquarters (IPD) or the lockups where the incident was reported.

"This is to ensure that investigations are conducted transparently and we will not compromise with any form of misconduct and violation of laws.

"The cases will be investigated by taking into account the criminal and disciplinary aspects,” he said during the question and answer session at Dewan Negara, here today.

He was responding to a question from Senator Datuk Bobbey Suan on the preventive measures taken by the Home Ministry to address the occurrence of deaths in custody.

Meanwhile, Ismail said 17 deaths in custody were reported from January to December last year, with Selangor recording the highest number of deaths at seven cases, followed by Pahang (six), Johor (two) and one case each in Kedah and Perak.

"From January to December 2020, 16 deaths in police custody were recorded, namely nine in Pahang, Terengganu (two) and one death each in Perlis, Perak, Melaka, Johor and Sabah.

"A total of 113 deaths were recorded at immigration detention depots from January 2020 to June 2021, while 27 deaths due to Covid-19 were reported up till March 15,” he said.

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Ismail said 12 people died in prisons last year involving seven inmates at Kluang Prison, Johor and one death each at Sungai Udang Prison, Melaka; Simpang Renggam Prison, Johor; Bentong Prison, Pahang; Kajang Women's Prison, Selangor; and Kuala Kangsar Satellite Prison, Perak.

He said in 2020, 13 deaths took place in prisons with seven of them were reported at Kluang Prison, two cases at Sungai Udang Prison and one death each at Sungai Buloh Prison, Selangor; Kota Kinabalu Prison, Sabah; Taiping Prison, Perak; and Pokok Senam Prison, Penang.

"In order to improve the management of detainees in lockups, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) has come up with stricter guidelines, including involving sick detainees by increasing the frequency of night patrols as well as the number of personnel in charge of managing detainees,” he said.

Ismail said 684 police lockups nationwide will also be equipped with closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to enable better monitoring of detainees and prevent any untoward incident. - BERNAMA