By MUZLIZA MUSTAFA
SELANGOR police have so far picked up fi ve children found wandering alone following a recent directive by its chief, Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar.
The children, all boys, aged between seven and 10, were picked up at cybercafes, on the streets and at a shopping complex in Petaling Jaya and Gombak. They were taken to the respective district police headquarters.
Khalid said the boys’ parents were asked to pick up their children from the station.
"Their parents were asked why their children were allowed to wander out, alone and unsupervised," he said.
Khalid said some parents had told police that they were at work while some admitted that their children liked to wander around after school.
"We had to advise them to keep a close eye on their children all the time," he said. He added that one of the cybercafes was found to be operating illegally and action had been taken against the owner.
The directive, issued by Khalid on March 17, ordered officers to take children — aged 10 and below — found wandering alone or in places they should not be, to their respective stations.
Khalid said the measure was due to the increasing number of children who have gone missing.
He had urged NGOs to help police by contacting the authorities if they see any children in that age group wandering around town.
Khalid said children at that age, especially girls, are 'fragile'.
In some cases, he said, children went missing after several hours, prompting their parents to lodge police reports.
There were also those who went missing after going out to play, such as the recent case of 11-year-old Mohd Asmawi Jalaludin, who has been missing since March 9 in Pantai Permai. His disappearance came two months after the disappearance of five-year-old Sharlinie Mohd Nashar.
Sharlinie was abducted on Jan 9, at a playground near her home in Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya.
Nurin Jazlin Jazimin's case is deemed the most tragic of all.
The Year Two pupil of SRK Desa Setapak went missing on Aug 20 after going out alone to the night market near her house in Section 1, Wangsa Maju.
Her body was found a month later, stuffed into a sports bag and left outside a shoplot in Petaling Jaya.
- The Malay Mail