Recently I read and wanted to note down that many crimes happen because of opportunity. So one way of preventing crime is to reduce those opportunities for crime to be committed.
Some of the crimes that have happened to people close to me include:
- handbag snatched while getting into car with kids
- handbag snatched when opening gate to get into house with kid
- handphone snatched from table at mamak stall
- laptop stolen from carboot in luxury hotel
We mothers are a prime target for crime because we are often carrying handbags and numerous other bags for kids' stuff etc. We are distracted because we need to handle the kids and think about their safety. Not only that, the kids themselves are sometimes being cranky or being playful adding to our distraction.
So how to we protect ourselves? Below is my crime prevention checklist. Most of them are related to personal safety. These are some of the things I try to do when outdoors, especially when walking alone on the road or in the carpark:
- Don't wear flashy jewellery
- Walk against the direction of the traffic when on the road
- Carry a laminated copy of my I.C. and keep the original one at home in a safe place
- Don't carry sling handbags when walking alone. Wear outfit with pocket and carry in pocket instead
- Always try to look alert
- Try to be free of distractions and don't dream or think about other things
- Don't talk on the handphone while walking
- Try not to be distracted by the kids
- Try to have the house key or car keys ready instead of searching desperately for it by digging in the handbag only when trying to open the door
- I used to carry pepper spray and a loud alarm but have stopped doing so. I guess the alarm is ok but am a bit worried that things like pepper spray or umbrella or anything that can be used as a weapon will be used on me instead by the wise crook. What does anyone think about this? I'm really not sure. Hmm...
- Never carry a sling bag when putting petrol at the petrol kiosk
- Always lock the door immediately upon getting in the car
- I don't open the car door from too far a distance afraid that someone may get into the car without my noticing
- Always lock the car door when waiting in the car with the kids for hubby to run a quick errand especially if the engine is left running. I'm worried that someone may come in and drive off with us in it!
- Never leave my handbag on a table unattended when dining
- Put my handbag on the floor near my feet when driving instead of on the passenger seat so its not visible to other motorists or passerby
- Don't stand near the entrance of the LRT, it makes it easier for someone to snatch your stuff and run off
- Try not to carry too many stuff when handling kids at the same time
My list is certainly not exhaustive even though I may sound paranoid enough with it. Still its better to be paranoid then sorry. Feel free to share your personal checklist here so we can all remind each other to be careful in order to prevent crimes by not providing the opportunities for crime to happen.