They rescue children in need of intervention and protection and prosecute those involved in the abuse.
POLICE ACT 1967
Under the Police Act 1967 Section 3(3), the role of the police is to safeguard the law and safety of the country, maintain the peace and security and to prevent crimes.
THE SEXUAL ASSAULT UNIT
The Sexual Assault Unit is responsible for investigating all sexual assault cases including sexual crimes against children. The Unit's functions are as follows:
- Interviewing the victim
- Recording of statements in writing from the victim and witnesses
- Investigations at the scene of crime and gathering of evidence
- Apprehending and detaining the suspect
- Preparation and the conducting of identification parade
- Recording the suspect's statement
- Informing the victim of the results of investigations
- Referring the investigating papers to the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) for further instructions and for the purposes of prosecution
STEP BY STEP PROCEDURES
- A report can be made at any Police Station. The child, the parent of guardian may write the report in English or Bahasa Malaysia at the Police Station or the person may relate the incident orally to the Police Officer in charge of the Enquiry Office who will take down the report in writing.
- The report will be read back to the complainant and would be asked to sign the report. Any amendments to the report must be made before the signing of the report. A report may also be received through the telephone to the Police in charge of the Enquiry Office or the complainant may also write his report at home and bring it to the Police Station to be officially registered as a Police report.
- When making the report, these documents need to be brought along:
- For the child: Identity card and/or birth certificate
- For the parent/guardian: Identity card and/or birth certificate
- Any other case-related documents (e.g. receipts of hotels, purchases etc.)
- If possible, a trusted adult (e.g. parent, guardian, relative, teacher, school counsellor, etc.) may accompany the child to the Police Station.
- The Police Officer on duty at the Enquiry Office will refer all sexual assault cases to the Investigating Officer (I.O.) or the Assistant Investigating Officer on duty that day.
- All child sexual abuse cases will be investigated by the Sexual Assault Unit under the Criminal Investigation Unit (CID) that is based in every District and Contingent Headquarters.
- The child will be sent for a medical examination.
- During the investigation, the suspect may be held in remand for up to 14 days. During this time, the child will be referred to the District Welfare Office for protection and/or support.
- A female victim will be interviewed by a female Police Officer as part of the investigation, in which she will be asked to give a statement and provide facts and evidence of the case. If there is no female Officer in the district, the case will be investigated by a male Officer and be assisted by a female Junior Officer. For a male victim, he may be interviewed by a male or female Officer depending on his age and needs.
- The interview will be conducted in the Investigating Officer's room. Currently there are no special rooms provided for interviewing child victims.
- A statement from the victim will be recorded in writing under Section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). At present, there is no provision in the law for the interview to be video-recorded.
- It is a normal practice for the Investigating Officers of the Sexual Assault Unit to be dressed in casual clothes when interviewing a child. Sometimes toys will also be brought in to the room.
- The interview will be conducted in a child-friendly environment in order to reduce trauma and put the child at ease to answer the questions satisfactorily. Questions may include:
- How many brothers and sisters do you have?
- Do you know the importance of speaking the truth?
- Do you know the difference between a truth and a lie?
- If the child has difficulty answering the questions, he or she would be coaxed gently or the child's parent or guardian will be called in to assist the child to understand the questions put to him or her.
- The child will be allowed to take a break or rest whenever needed.
- The duration of the interview depends on the status of the case and the child's ability to answer the questions. Sometimes, the child may be asked to return to the Police Station for further questioning.
The identification parade is carried out in a special room. The suspect will be standing among other persons in a line and the victim will be called in to identify the perpetrator (suspect). In some police stations the identification of the suspect is done by the use of a one-way mirror which is now a valid mode of identification. NOTE: This is conducted according to the rules and regulations underlined by the Identification Line-Up Procedures (which is stated in the 'departmental procedures')
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
Once the case has been completely investigated it is referred to the Deputy Public Prosecutor. On the basis of the case and a recommendation from the Police, the Deputy Public Prosecutor then decides whether to charge the suspect or not.