How to prevent street crime
Although Malaysia is considered as a safe country to travel and to live in most regards, street crime is a major concern these days with figures of street crime rising steadily in recent years, especially in major cities Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru.
Stealth methods of Street crime are a norm in large cities: pocket picking, bag slashing, and bag snatching. But recently there have been more reports of muggings and violent robberies.
However, by being aware of personal safety and the practice of good safety precautions, you can avoid putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation that may lead to these incidents. It is all about being aware of a potential problem before it happens and that is where my tips on how to prevent street crime from happening come in.
In every street crime incident there are always three aspects – a victim, an offender and an opportunity for a criminal. The criminal is always on a look out for easy target, if you are showing precaution to put off his intentions, he will move on to someone else.Thus best way of breaking the “triangle of street crime” is to remove the opportunity and this can be done in a number of ways.
#1Be aware of the environment you are in at all times, stay clear of unfamiliar places and dark alleys, even when you are in a small sized group of 2-3. If you feel insecure of the environment, the best thing is to get out of it at the earliest opportunity. Potential street crime problem: Mugging, bag snatching.
#2Walk against the traffic flow! Same as #1; be aware of your surroundings, keep an eye on traffic and the people, especially in tourist areas. Ladies try to walk inside the path beside a man, even if it is a stranger. Potential street crime problem: Bag snatching.
#3Travel light and keep personal items out of sight, especially when having a meal, do not leave your valuables (cell phone, purse, bag, pouch etc) on the dining table or empty chair even if you think you got your attention on it. Criminals are very good in create a diversion and you soon find your things missing. Potential street crime problem: Pocket picking, stealing, and bag snatching.
#4In any crowded place such as a bus, train, market, entrance to a busy place – anywhere where people are packed close together, guard your bag, wallet, camera, jewelry, wrist watch, and anything else of value. Put your hands crossed on your chest with your bag in-between them. Potential street crime problem: Pocket picking, bag slashing, and bag snatching.
#5Keep your backpacks in front of you where you can see it when in crowded area; Bag-slashers will get behind or beside you in a crowded place, slash your bag or pocket with a razor blade and collect your valuables. You don’t see or feel a thing. Potential street crime problem: Pocket picking, bag slashing, and bag snatching.
These apply to different situation that you probably might find yourself in:
#6When in bars / clubs, never get too drunk; you might wake up without your wallet. As for ladies, do not leave your drinks out of sight. Potential crime problems: Mugging and rape.
#7If you are driving, always lock the doors, and never leave your personal belongings unattended when you get off the car. There have been cases where a rider on a motorbike will open the car door and take the items and ride off.
#8If you plan to visit any mosque, wear some old flip flips (which you should be able to get it cheaply everywhere), as you will be required to remove your shoes before entry, and there have been cases of missing shoes.
Remember, that the prevention of street crime is the best cure for it from happening. With an increase in individual awareness, potential opportunities will decrease, and this will in turn dissuade offenders from trying.
You can do a part in making Malaysia a safer place to travel in by being more aware of your own personal safety.