Police can investigate a crime without a report being lodged, a retired senior officer said, dismissing the inspector-general of police’s contention that a probe can only be launched if a report is made.
Former federal Criminal Investigation Department director Tan Sri Zaman Khan said any police officer who said an investigation could only be launched if a report was lodged was talking “nonsense”.
“The police can investigate without a report, as long as the offence is an arrestable one,” he said at a forum on police accountability in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur today.
“If any police say they need a report to investigate a crime, that is nonsense.”
IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has repeatedly said that police could only initiate investigations into crime cases if a report was lodged.
He had, via Twitter, told Selangor speaker Hannah Yeoh to lodge a report first when she notified him of a break-in by five masked men at her home in Subang Jaya in March.
He also reportedly said a journalist who was allegedly roughed up during a protest in front a church in Taman Medan last month should lodge a report of the incident before his claims could be investigated, despite police presence.
Khalid has come under fire for his refusal to investigate without police reports, with critics accusing the IGP of selective persecution, targeting only members of the opposition.
“They (police) can launch investigations even before a report is lodged for seizable and arrestable offences. That is provided for under the Penal Code,” Zaman said today.
His remarks come after lawyer and activist Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, who was among the audience, asked Enforcement Agencies Integrity Commission (EAIC) commissioner Leong May Chan if the body could act without a complaint.
“You’re strengthening your power but can you act without a complaint because a lot of people are scared to complain and that is something you have to accept,” the former Bersih co-chair said.
Leong said the commission could initiate a probe into any enforcement agency with a complaint, as provided for under the EAIC Act.
– The mentioned forum is the Forum on Rogue Cops: Workable Solutions – Police Accountability in Malaysia, a collaboration between the National Human Rights Society (HAKAM) and Bar Council Malaysia via its Task Force on IPCMC, which took place on 30 May 2015 in Kuala Lumpur.