Triage is a French word which means the process of determining the priority of people's needs based on the severity of their condition or complaint.
Such a service will be operational in 35 police stations in Selangor, Johor, Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
Among those the police hope to assist under the Triage service are victims of kidnap and snatch thefts, the handicapped, senior citizens, children and pregnant women.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar, who officially launched the service yesterday at the Jalan Travers police station here, said victims who had suffered traumatic and sensitive incidents would first be handled by these specially trained staff before the start of investigation.
“We want to handle traumatised victims with care, compassion and in a professional and friendly manner,” he said.
Ismail said each police station with Triage service had been allocated RM50,000 to set up a special counter and a room fitted with air-conditioners, a television set, a sofa set, reading materials and water dispensers, among others, for the comfort of victims.
It is also learnt that those assigned to the Triage service, including civilians, have undergone specialised training in communication skills, psychology of crime victims and knowledge of the investigation process.
A survey conducted by the police between January and March found that 80% of complainants attended to by Triage service had expressed satisfaction towards both the staff and services rendered.
The Triage service will be operational 24 hours a day and victims will initially be attended to by Triage personnel before general duty policemen are called to record their statements.
Thereafter, the investigating officers take over to gather more information from the victims.
Federal CID director Commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin, who is the stakeholder of the new initiative, said the pilot Triage service was introduced last year involving five police stations.
“Following the success of the pilot project, we expanded it to 30 other police stations in four states which we identified as being hot spots for such cases,” he said.