LAHAD DATU: The police are always ready to tackle security threats in Sabah, especially the Abu Sayyaf group, by implementing various preventive measures, Inspector-Genereal of Police Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said.

Likening the threats to existing diseases, he said the police and other security teams were always prepared, and had even arrested five Filipinos believed to be members of Abu Sayyaf in the first seven moths of this year.

He said to face such threats, 3,475 General Operations Force (GOF) and 900 marine police personnel have been stationed in the east coast of Sabah.

“However, in almost two years, there have been no threats, but that doesn’t mean the threats are gone, it doesn’t mean they aren’t looking for an opportunity to commit crime, and it certainly doesn’t mean we can relax and ease security related controls in the east coast of Sabah.

“We are always prepared and continue to boost our capabilities to combat security threats,” he said after closing the Sabah GOF Tiger Platoon Brigade Series 1/2022 that involved two senior officers and 84 personnel here today.

Acryl Sani also said that besides prevention, the police are also intensifying security controls in Sabah, including considering the need for two additional GOF battalions in the state.

“We have five GOF (battalions) in Sabah currently and we are working on adding two more battalions to assist in managing areas to handle any possible security incidents.

“This includes restructuring the GOF with the assistance of strength between platoons and brigades will be balanced to create two additional battalions in Sabah, besides seeing to the need for high-tech equipment for the Tiger Platoon and the marine police,” he said.

According to him, the government will always do whatever it can to strengthen security in Sabah.

Meanwhile, to improve skills in the police force, he would officially request that the Sabah government turn Pulau Tabawan here into an area specifically for skill training to strengthen techniques that will be used when faced with security situations.

“Based on a briefing by Internal Security and Public Order Department director Hasil taklimat ringkas Datuk Seri Hazani Ghazali and Sabah police commissioner Datuk Idris Abdullah, Pulau Tabawan is a suitable area to be used for practical training,” he added.

On the Sulu group, Acryl Sani said the police are focused on parties that are trying to take opportunity of the situation to conduct criminal activities and to disrupt public order.

“For direct demands, we leave it to the government to settle it through legal means,” he said. - Bernama