If you’re not fortunate enough to be living in a gated and guarded community, or  you don’t live in a condo, then you’ve probably heard of a security patrol team by your local Residents’ Association. These have mushroomed all over our urban residential areas or housing estates in recent years.

In the past, there was never a need for such things and I’ve never heard of them before but now, you can see security patrols  by guards hired by residence patroling the housing areas. A sure sign that crime is on the rise. Many homes now carry stickers that their house is subscribing to a certain security patrol, paying an extra RM30 to RM40 a month if I am not mistaken. My house is one of them.

However, I wonder how everyone feels about this. We feel that we want very much to improve the security in our area and that is why we dutifully pay the subscription fee for extra security surveillance. We feel that since it is a community kind of thing, it will only be successful, if everyone contributes or does their part by subscribing and so we subscribe faithfully even though, its hard for us to even pay up and after paying we don’t even have a receipt.

The excuse is that since the team is manned by volunteers and so… we’re not to have overly high expectations (like getting a receipt?). Oh well…. We do receive quarterly reports about the security in our area and we feel a (perhaps a wrong) sense of security seeing the guards patrolling our area in their motorbikes and cars and having an emergency number to call, just in case.

Yesterday, I met a friend who stays in a “crime zone” (which area isn’t that now). His neighbour’s houses had been broken in (both side and opposite). He does not subscribe to the security surveillance service that is available though. His feeling is. “What is the point anyway?” Besides, “you don’t even know if the security team is in cahorts with the burglars or thieves.” he added.

I wonder what does everyone else feel about such security patrols? Are you paying extra for it? How do you feel about this? Do you think it has reduced crime?

I keep on receiving scary emails about people being hijacked from their cars and houses being broken into. I know some of these emails may not be true but some of them come from people we actually know. I used to feel safer living in a condo but apparently even living in a condo is not safe anymore. The other day, I visited the old condo where I used to live. The maintenance person there told us that they are now stepping up security to have the guards going around floor by floor every hour because of crime. According to the guy some tenants do not like this but they have no choice. The burglars now come from within ie the modus operandi is to rent the premise for a few months, then strike when their neighbours are out.

Almost everyone I know has witness a crime or has had some personal experience. I feel so unsafe. The other day, I happened to be eating at the roadside with my handbag (I normally don’t carry my handbag when I eat at the roadside) and I was very distracted throughout my meal because I have to keep on clutching my handbag close to me and glancing around every few minutes. (I’ve had friends whose had their handphones or bags snatched while they were enjoying their meal, thats why I have this paranoia). Afterall, crime happens partly because of opportunity and we can reduce that opportunity by being more aware of our surroundings and it doesn’t hurt to be extra careful, right? Can you tell me what you have done to reduce the opportunity of crime to your person, car and home?

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