NEIGHBOURHOOD LAYOUT FOR SAFECITIES
The issue of public security in residentialareas is a hot current topic. In a nationalsurvey conducted in July 2004 by MerdekaCentre and Ikmas (2), 42% of Malaysianssurveyed said crime was their biggestworry.
Day in and day out, the pages of ournewspapers are full of stories aboutburglaries, robberies and snatch thefts thatmake us feel unsafe in our own homes. Thepublic areas and playgrounds often seemconstantly vandalized. The streets areunsafe for our children; not only fromcriminals but from vehicles that speed. Wecoop up our children, ferrying them aboutto school, to the mall and to visit friends.We grill up our windows and doors. Thefront entrance door has long been keptpermanently shut. We put up 6 foot highfences to secure our homes. The wealthyamong us live in exclusive gatedcommunities to insulate themselves fromthe dangers outside. Neighbourlinesssuffers but that is a secondaryconsideration.However, the main thesis of this paper isthat a sense of community is of primeimportance. In good neighbourhoods, withstrong community spirit, the people don’t just complain about crime and safetyissues. They organize night watch groupsalong the principles of
. Theylook after the amenities that make theirenvironment pleasant and add value to theirhomes. Vandalism would not be tolerated.The streets are safe for children. Car driversare mindful of pedestrians and share theroad with them.Burglars and robbers are discouraged bystrong communities that recognizestrangers in their territory that politely asksstrangers: “Can I help you”.
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