Reducing the potential of a break-in

The story is part of the three-part series which touches on safety and security aspects of owning a home. Read the first part of the story here

By  Hakim Hassan and Tharmini Kenas

PETALING JAYA: IN an interview with, Prevent Crime Now safety specialist Shamir Rajadurai highlighted that about 50 homes are broken into each day, and the number increases to about 160 with vehicle theft.

He explains the motivation behind the break-ins using a criminology theory. The Routine Activity Theory lines up factors that are required for a break-in to occur: a motivated offender, a suitable target, and the absence of a capable guardian.

“The best way to reduce the potential of house break-ins is to remove at least one of the factors,” said Shamir.

Despite an increase in awareness among Malaysians about home safety and security, there are several widely accepted myths in the community.

Among them are gated and guarded housing being safer than a non-gated neighbourhood.


Shamir advocates reinforcing entry points to reduce the chances of break-ins.

“In the case of gated-guarded developments, many developers practise the act of copy and paste. Safety and security mechanisms that work successfully in one location may not be effective in another,” said Shamir.
“Since crime is location-dependent, a ‘copy and paste’ home safety and security measure would not be sufficient to prevent break-ins.”

On the other hand, he added, there are many neighbourhood communities or Rukun Tetangga in non-gated neighbourhoods that have been effective in preventing break-ins.

Another common myth is the use of access cards, deemed an extra layer of protection. Shamir said: “This has been proven wrong in an age of technological advancements where access cards can be easily duplicated.”

However, he advises residents in landed, high-rise, gated and guarded communities as well as non-gated neighbourhoods not to worry about home safety all the time.

“Don’t be paranoid, just be cautious. All you can do is be careful and take preventive measures that will greatly reduce the risk of break-ins and being an easy target.”

Shamir advocates reinforcing entry points to reduce the chances of break-ins. Some simple measures are adding latches and locks of high quality, with features such as anti-pick, anti-rust and anti-Allen key bendable.


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