Cream of cops to fight serious crime

Women were among the frontline crack team.
Women were among the frontline crack team.

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — The best in criminal investigation will be in the frontline as police take a major step to fight organised crime.

The crack team ­— Special Task Force on Organised Crime (Stafoc) — comprises 400 officers from the Criminal Investigation and Narcotics Department.

They will begin operations on Jan 1.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said they were were picked after strict vetting by Bukit Aman.

He said the elite force — operating on the concept of “Intelligence Led Policing and Aggressive Action on Organised Crime” — will focus specifically on serious crimes including people trafficking, prostitution and drug gangs.

Khalid said the training provided by police special forces will ensure Stafoc’s success in reducing the crime rate in the country.

“The force will undergo training with Unit Tindakan Khas (UTK) and the VAT 69 Commando Force,” Khalid said at the introduction of Stafoc in Pulapol yesterday.

Stafoc will operate directly from Bukit Aman, but will be deployed throughout the country to be part of raids and tactical operations.

Khalid said the force comprised experienced officers, many of whom have been involved in special missions  such as the invasion of Lahad Datu last February.

“More than 20 of the team’s personnel were directly involved in the Lahad Datu operation and many others,” he said.

Stafoc was formed following the Home Ministry’s meeting with the Royal Malaysian Police on Aug 22.

The Lahad Datu incident saw 200 special tactical officers sent to Sabah, leaving many  states without such expertise.

He said tactical officers had to be deployed to situations that needed them soonest.

Stafoc officers yesterday gave a demonstration of two crime scenarios:  a counterstrike at a bank robbery and hostage rescue at Pulapol’s Tactical Training Centre at Jalan Semarak.

The mock bank robbery depicted a situation where two robbers shot dead two bank officers followed by swift response from the elite force.