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Crime can happen anywhere at anytime, it is not just limited to affluent areas or the rich. Criminals are opportunists, they strike when there are opportunities, whether or not you have a luxurious home or car. Hence, we shall not create such opportunities for them, but how?

In this article, we will be sharing on how to prevent crime in the neighbourhood / at home as (i) a developer, (ii) a community, and as (iii) an individual.

1) What can developers do?

Property developers can incorporate Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) into their developments. CPTED is a multi-disciplinary approach to deter criminal behaviour through environmental design. Its strategies rely upon the ability to influence criminal decisions by affecting the built, social and administrative environment of the property/neighbourhood area.

CPTED Implementations

- Sidewalks / Walkways

It is important to keep sidewalks safe as residents usually use sidewalks for walking, jogging, and running. Planting bushes along sidewalks can greatly help prevent snatch theft. The bushes will act as a barrier between the criminal and the victim. However, developers should take note that these bushes requires timely trimmings as they should not grow too tall or thick, else it will be a perfect hiding ground for criminals to make ambush. One that looks like the image below would be decent.

- Roads

Are the roads wide enough? As most Malaysians ‘double park’, this causes traffic buildups; providing opportunities for snatch thieves to strike at motorists stranded in the jam. Wider roads are especially needed around school areas, where parents park along the roads waiting to pick up their children.

- Parking Lots

Most condos provide 2 parking lots per unit, some even lesser (depending on your unit size), while most families own more than 2 vehicles nowadays. Many will be forced to park somewhere outside the condo (like image below). Once again, this can cause traffic buildup and also promote car theft. Thus, developers should focus on allocating more parking space in their projects, not just maximize space to increase profitability.

- Building’s Structure and Fixtures

Building structures if done right can help deter crime, and if done wrong could encourage crime. The image above shows a spot-on example. A ‘blind wall’ is where a wall has no windows, doors or any form of openings. Having cars parked at a blind wall area creates perfect opportunities for car theft, as there is no surveillance. Developers should take note of this, or at least ensure that blind wall areas are brightly lit and have CCTV surveillance.

- Liaising With Emergency Departments (PDRM & BOMBA)

Inspector General of Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar highly encourages property developers to seek advice from the RMP before commencement of any development plans as the police can help to pinpoint features in their development that can promote better safety.

On top of that, developers can also put in a request with the RMP for plans of stationing a police station/post in the neighbourhood area.

2) What Can A Community Do?

Area residents can set up a neighbourhood watch (Rukun Tetangga) where a group of residents agree to help keep an eye on one another's properties, patrol the streets, and report any suspicious incidents.

Neighbourhood watch committee members can also seek support from local police during night patrols in order to incorporate more experienced manpower when patrolling.

3) What Can YOU do?

Everyone can make a difference no matter how small the effort is. Each of us as an individual play an important role in preventing crime.

One should stay up to date with crime prevention techniques and how crime works, either by going to workshops or obtaining information online.

Help from the Authorities

Most of the house break-ins occur during festive seasons when many city dwellers return to their hometowns. Do you know that you can fill-up a “Borang Balik Kampung” at your nearest police station before heading off to your hometown? It is a form to notify the police when will you not be around in order for them to patrol the area more often. You should include descriptions as detailed as possible about your house. For example, whether the porch light was left on or off, so that patrol officers will know what to look out for when they come patrolling. If anything happens to be different from your description, they can quickly check for suspicious activities.

How would you know if police officers did patrol your house when you were gone? They will leave a note at your letterbox once they are done with patrolling. The “Borang Balik Kampung” can be downloaded online, you can find it here.

Creating An Illusion… (Impression)

Other than that, some other crime prevention measures include leaving the lights and fans on when you are not around. If you will be away for a long period of time, in order to be more eco-friendly, you may set a timer for electrical appliances (e.g. lights, fans, radio, air-conditioner, etc.) to turn on at specific times. This will give an impression that the premise is occupied. Find out what is an electrical timer and how to use it here -

To Sum Up

To prevent crime is to create an environment not conducive for crime to take place. Everyone of us be it developers, communities, or individuals are responsible for protecting our homes and neighbourhoods.

Do you know of any property developments with CPTED implementation in Malaysia? What are some other crime prevention methods do you practice? Come share it with us below!

Check out 'Safety Features to Look Out for When Buying A Property' here

Here are some of the crime cases happening on daily basis.



Name: Shamir Rajadurai
Designation: Crime Safety Specialist
Company: PreventCrimeNow


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P  2c3e50 small

Gated and guarded used to be a luxury feature, now it has become a necessity.

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@ppnnkk2011 How sad but true, and we can only prevent.

Jeht profile small

very nice environment...good neighborhood for family with kids. Only 350 units only. 

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@jehtwong88, which property are you referring to that's 350 units only?

Jeht profile small

Hi Magdelin, i referred to Paragon Heights at Bukit Jalil. 3 storeys landed with 24 hours gated and guarded. Total only 350 units in whole taman. Very nice environment and neighborhood. Pls feel to contact me for viewing at 0193378838.


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Public's awareness is critical in preventing crime. Like how I wasn't aware of the existence of Borang Balik Kampung and how we can liaise with the authorities on night patrols, thus I guess as long as there is awareness, there is a higher chance to prevent crime. But dont know how effective is 'ajaking' police to ronda with RAs at night lah, maybe need to belanja later on.

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  Shamir, thanks for the contribution  

James bond craig junio2006 small

Seems like CCTV doesn't really help preventing crimes, when many crime cases are being captured through CCTV. I think investing in a better alarm system would be a wiser choice.

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Also invest in better security guards / personnel. 

At times, it is really what you pay is what you get. There are many that is very responsible and helpful and as always some bad apple that tarnishing the whole team's reputation (sleeping while on duty, never bothered to perform any security check or rounds etc)