The placebo of gated communities

Yesterday my residential taman’s residents discussed about making our taman a gated community  – I did not took to the idea too well.

In order to have one, you need to get 85 percent of your residents to agree to it – which is good since it makes it less likely to occur.

Still, I am disappointed that the fear in us is making us give in to paying haphazard companies to rake in thousands from us monthly in exchange for couple of boys in motorbikes to do rounds.

Crime is real and crime is prevalent, but locking ourselves is not a solution. 

Gated communities operate on the idea that paying for security and closing up your residential zone will bring peace. it does not confront with the spectacle that your are shutting your commnunity from other people, and creating an insular environment.

Our neighbours

In Manila, people can tell how wealthy any upper-middle class and above group of people are based on how well gated their community is. However it also underlines that that society has an irreconciable and pronounced income divide, and typically inundated with violence.

I had a friend gunned down, and another almost kidnapped – and they were both rich.

And the story is similar in all the big cities in Asean. The employing of gated communities only saves you some of the time from some of the people.

Our answers

Crime is never eradicated. It can be rendered negligible by a resolve to confront the economic causes and better community policing.

The first challenge requires better social policies. It it not just about throwing money at the problem. There are endemic issues in the ghettoes of KL. A spiral of low community engagement, education and knowledge gaps and a history of violence.

The parochial shouting at people “that you all should be better people” is as ever going to fall on deaf ears.

And the second challenge is the active role of police to think about crime, not just be opposed to it.

If you try to catch thieves the way children play the game in playgrounds, of course you are never going to catch criminals.

Our police personnel have to value add themselves in a time when the means of breaking the law has become complex.

The community has to get involved. Criminals do not like to be caught, and when they sense a community on alert they become less inclined to act. And that is where we can start taking back our streets and our suburbs – by a constant willingness to involve ourselves.

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