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Contemporary Malaysia Issues - Snatch Theft

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1.0        Introduction

According to Oxford Living Dictionaries (2018), crime is an action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law. Nowadays, many Malaysians are concerning about the rising crime in the country. The public’s fear of crime is a major concern for policymakers, more so if it involves a marked and sudden increase of violent and property crime. According to Amar Singh Sidhu (2005), the Royal Malaysian Police Force in its administrative functions divides crime into two categories which are violent crime and property crime. Examples of violent crimes are murder, attempted murder, robbery, and rape. Examples of property crime are housebreaking, theft of vehicles, and other forms of theft. According to National Transformation Programme (NTP) Annual Report 2017, the index crime over the year 2010 up until 2017 has reduced by a phenomenal 53%. In 2017, the Royal Malaysian Police recorded a crime rate of 306.15 per 100,000 populations against the baseline of 352.07 per 100,000 population set in 2016, equivalent to a 13% decrease. Moreover, the number reported crimes per day has dropped to 307 in 2016, as compared to 486 in 2010. In 2017, the average number of reported crimes per day was 272, showing a continuous reduction of crimes (MAMPU 2017).

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Although there is a decrease in index crime and crime rate, most of the Malaysians still feel unsecure and increase in fear of crimes due to the recent crime news. There are some recent cases about crimes found based on our research. Firstly, a Grab driver believed to have been murdered was found with strangulation marks on the neck in his Perodua Myvi car at the parking lot in Taman Selayang Makmur on Saturday night which in on 23 June 2018 (Appendix 1). Besides, on 5 February 2018, a gang involved in 21 snatch theft cases in Kuala Lumpur has been busted with the arrest of four members. The members of the gang would target pedestrians, and usually be armed with a samurai sword and a pocket knife (Appendix 2). Thirdly, two brothers have been detained over a snatch theft case caught on a viral video that showed an elderly woman falling to the ground after having her bag wrested away from her on 26 February 2018 at Kota Baru (Appendix 3).

2.0        Reasons why this segment is selected for review

i)        Snatch Theft Cases Happened Frequently

The first reason that we choose snatch theft segment is because snatch theft cases are happened frequently in our country. One of the hottest news in Malaysia is snatch theft cases. Snatch theft crime index for Kuala Lumpur area had increase 63.37% from 640 cases reported in year 2016 to 1010 cases reported in year 2017 (Appendix 4). There are 2 tactics that snatch theft often practiced, which are snatch-and-run or smash-and-grab. Snatch theft cases normally will happen on those potential victims such as those women with handbag, people who carrying valuable stuffs, reckless, walking alone, senior citizens who are slow in action, leaving handbag on the passenger seat, and those who talking to phone while walk on the street (Yew 2012). For instance, a man’s phone has been snatched while recording FB Live video (Appendix 5), a man was hit by a lorry not long after he robbed (Appendix 6), and a woman got her hair stuck to chain of robber’s bike (Appendix 7).

ii)        Increase Public Awareness

The second reason that snatch theft segment was selected to be reviewed is to increase the awareness of the public regarding the snatch theft cases that occur frequently recently in Malaysia. According to Kuala Lumpur police chief, Datuk Mazlan Lazim, the rising of snatch theft cases was generally caused by public’s lack of sensitivity to their valuable items which create opportunity for culprit to commit crime (Syazwan 2017). This indicates that public doesn’t aware of the risk of snatch theft that occur in Malaysia and they doesn’t put high alert for their valuable items. Moreover, snatch theft can cause the victims to suffer loss of valuable items, injuries, fatalities and it will also affect country reputation negatively. Therefore, initiatives should be conducted to overcome snatch theft issue for protect Malaysia reputation and to sustain peaceful environment. For example, government should enforce the law by punishing the snatch theft heavily. In conclusion, Malaysians have to be aware of the rising in snatch theft cases and everyone has the responsibility to take the precaution steps to reduce snatch theft cases.

3.0        Review of points

3.1        Review of Agreed Points

i)        Easy Targets

We do agree that the most common targets of snatch theft are the women with handbags or purses and youngsters with smartphones. The main reason of women are the targets of snatch theft is because normally women are weaker compared to the men. Besides, women that usually carry a bag everywhere with stubborn behaviours especially those with conspicuous fashion statements on the street can become the targets of snatch theft. Most of the time, women are immune advice. They have bad habit placing their valuable items everywhere like placing handbags on empty seats or placing phone on the table although numerous advice has been given and they think that it would not happen to them easily (Yunus 2013). Besides that, women easily distracted by shopping giving snatch theft another chance to success since they have low vigilant on the moment (Appendix 8). In addition, an old lady with slow motion is another target for them because it is easier for them to run away as those victims will be helpless. Moreover, in this 21st century, snatch theft also like to target on youngsters with smartphone as they tend to be too engrossed with their smartphone and ignore everything. They hear song, play game and even watch movie with their phone although walking on street. This causes them easily became a target for snatch theft.

ii)        The Convenience of the Attack

We totally agree that snatch theft can occur at all hours, in front of witnesses, and even in upscale neighbourhoods. Snatch theft can be commit crime no matter in everywhere or every time as long as they want to. They will normally covered up themselves like a normal person and commit crime secretly without anyone notice it. Other than that, there are some snatch theft will put on mask, helmet during commit crime in order to cover up their face as so nobody will recognize them and escape the place without any evidence. Moreover, motorbike are used by many snatch theft as their transportation choice because they can escape easily from the traffic road and they can also speed up after stealing items from victims. Snatch theft with motorbike bring more convenient for them as they can vanish in the blink of an eye after stole.  Moreover, item especially to those are more visible and easy grab things like ladies handbag will be the favourite target of snatch theft, it makes the stealing process more easily as they can just grab the item and run while riding motorbike, and this is the more common type of case happen Malaysia (Appendix 9).



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