Prevent Crime, Don’t Help It Grow

Scan through the online or print newspapers and one can clearly read about incidents of crime and concerns over rising violence in Malaysia.

This reminded me of a conversation I had some years back when I was in London. At an evening out, the conversation shifted to where I was from and what I was doing in the UK.

That led to one elderly gentleman reminiscing about a long-gone era when the British could leave home with their doors unlocked and needn’t fear burglaries happening, but not anymore.

The gentleman was not being racist. Far from it, he said the current immigrants to the UK from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and other third world countries had actually improved English cuisine. However, he was upset that the new immigrants flouted the law with impunity as well.

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Reports and statistics back then – and this was sometime in 2002, showed that these immigrants were mainly caught for petty crimes such as riding the underground without buying a ticket, stealing money from newsstands, and the like.

I am not sure what the situation is in the UK today, but if our media is anything to go by, the rising number of crimes in Malaysia is by no means petty. Shootings, murders, rape, and snatch-theft with deathly consequences … the list goes on.

Whilst I would love to blame the police like most do for the current situation, we must ask ourselves if we are doing enough as individuals to curb crime?

My neighbour, Chong, says yes we are, because he purchased mobile phones for all his three teenage school children so they can call for help if they were ever in trouble. Will this really help if, God forbid, any of them were kidnapped? I doubt it.

I believe we should take precautions and be aware of our surroundings wherever we are. I fear this is not happening. How often have we seen near accidents as people walk the streets while texting on their phones?

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Such occurrences are common enough. So what’s to stop anyone making off with a young lady’s handbag whilst she texted away? This is precisely what I mean when I ask if we are doing enough to curb crime, or are we instead inviting it?

Statistics prove that crime in any country gets worse when the local economy slows. So we can expect crime in Malaysia to grow in tandem with the waning economy. My advice is to text less, keep a lookout wherever you are, and be aware of your surroundings. You just might save yourself from becoming a victim!

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