KANGAR (Bernama) – Public awareness pertaining to crimes involving paedophiles has helped the police to bring more sexual offenders preying on children to court, said Perlis Police Chief Datuk Surina Saad.
She said, in the past, the public especially the victim’s parents and family members, chose to remain silent and not to lodge any report out of embarrassment.
“In recent years, members of the public have come to realise that child sexual predators need to be punished, this has caused the number of cases reported to increase.
“This year, the number of cases related to paedophiles in Perlis increased by 38 per cent compared to last year, this indicates that the public is no longer afraid or embarrassed to lodge a police report,” she told Bernama.
Surina said paedophilia is a psychological disorder in which an adult individual tends to have a sexual attraction to children under the age of 13 and the victim’s age would be five years younger than the perpetrator or suspect.
She explained that under the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017, a police report and statement from the victim were enough to bring the suspect to court.
“The complainant does not need any witness or supporting documents or videos to prosecute the offender,” she said.
She added that the victims could give evidence behind the screen or by video-link as most victims were traumatised and unable to speak.
Surina said the police’s Criminal Investigation Department’s Sexual, Women and Child Investigations Division (D11) will provide a psychologist to help the victim to explain the incident.