Good advice from the PNP

THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez - The Freeman

I’m always reminded of that little piece of advice given by the person who picked us up from Changi Airport in Singapore a few years ago. According to him, "Remember, low crime does not mean no crime." Singapore is known for having one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Number one is Switzerland. If you want to know where we are on the list, it’s number 55. Many countries in Southeast Asia have lower crime rates than us. This is according to US News 2022.

I was reminded of this because of the PNP's warning to everyone, especially with the holidays fast approaching. With COVID-19 restrictions easing up, we are more able to move around. Many are now flocking to malls, restaurants, and tourist areas. But if we are able to, criminals are likewise able. Good advice that should not be ignored or dismissed. Everything is so expensive nowadays. Even onions, whether red or white, are expensive. Imagine that. So all the hard-earned wages or income should not be lost to criminals.

Avoid withdrawing money from remote and dark ATM machines. It is much better to have someone with you while withdrawing money from an ATM. Withdraw during the day when the bank’s security guard is on duty. If wages are not received online or on some other digital platform, avoid bringing the whole amount home. Thieves normally prey on the newly paid. The usual targets of thieves are those whom they think will not resist or put up a fight, mostly women. I’m not encouraging standing up to thieves either as it may cause more harm. Avoiding going around alone may be the best advice I can give. The more company you have, the better, the safer.

Don't leave things unattended at restaurants, coffee shops, or stores. Seasoned thieves know when to catch you off guard. A moment’s distraction is all they need. And remember, don't use easy passwords like birthdays, ages, places of work, etc. This would avoid thieves from cleaning up your account should they get hold of your ATM. And always know where your wallet or purse is. Avoid open bags. Put purses in the front pocket where it is harder to snatch. Avoid flashing too much cash when paying for things or services.

We are still light-years from the likes of Singapore in terms of safety, contrary to what a politician said. We are still a country where the poverty rate is high. Honestly, it would be nice if we were similar to Singapore or Japan where you can feel safe. We just aren’t in their league. Having said that, we should all be vigilant against crime. We need to work hand in hand with honest police officers against crime. Nobody wants a holiday season ruined by a criminal.


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