PETALING JAYA: With the 2014 World Cup only four days away, many have been busy planning “football outings” with friends and relatives at the pubs, mamak and other eateries with live screenings to enjoy the matches together. The problem is, so might be the criminals, says safety activist Captain K. Bala.
“Crime happens because of opportunity and time. And live sporting events shown late at night or in the early hours of the morning like the World Cup provide the perfect opportunity for crime,” he warned.
While recommending that people watch the games in the comfort of their homes, Bala advised those who prefer to enjoy the World Cup outside or do not have a subscription for the live telecasts to choose crowded spots.
“There is safety in numbers and if the place is crowded, the possibility of a robbery will be less,” he said.
“Don’t carry too much cash, and if you are confronted by robbers or snatch thieves, just surrender your belongings to them. Don’t try to be a hero and fight back,” Bala added.
Crucially, football fans should be alert at all times, as sometimes the perpetrator will try to blend in with the football crowd and watch the games together with you, he said.
“If they mark you, they might then follow you to your car to rob you or even carjack you. The best thing is to always park your car near the place. And when you get to your car, if you see something has happened to it such as a punctured tyre, don’t try to change it there. Go get someone. It might be a trap.”
Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, however, is confident that the coming World Cup will not cause a spike in crime.
“But we can’t take our chances. Those who are planning to watch the World Cup at bars or the mamak outlets should be careful and take precaution when they are out.”
To parents who are being bombarded with requests from their children who want to watch the World Cup with their friends, Lee said they should ensure there is adult supervision all the time.
Lee believes the police should mobilise more personnel during the World Cup period to ensure public safety and reduce crime opportunities.
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