Stopping mischief at launderettes

The public is concerned over the safety and security at 24-hour self service launderettes.

The public is concerned over the safety and security at 24-hour self service launderettes.

WITH the spate of untoward incidences taking place at 24-hour self-service launderettes, from robberies to throwing a pregnant cat into a dryer, people are concerned about the safety of such premises.

MetroPerak approached several people to get their views on how to prevent similar crimes from happening in future.

Kindergarten teacher Nurul Husna Hamdi, 30, said it was useless having CCTVs in such places if they were not monitored at all times.

She said people should also be more alert of their surroundings and inform the police immediately if they suspect something amiss.

“These places should ideally have a male worker too and if possible, end operations by midnight.

“If someone is monitoring the CCTVs, maybe such incidences can be prevented,” said Nurul Husna.

On social media, several cases of robbers targeting customers waiting for their laundry were highlighted.

A recent one occurred in Sungai Petani, Kedah, where two men robbed a woman of her handbag, handphone and jewellery.

The viral footage showed the woman seated alone at a table waiting for her laundry when one of the robbers approached her and attempted to snatch her handbag.

The woman tried to hold onto her bag but the man pulled out a parang and threatened her into handing over her valuables, including her necklace.

In a separate incident, two men were captured on CCTV for allegedly throwing a pregnant cat into a coin-operated dryer at a launderette in Taman Gombak Ria, Petaling Jaya.

The recording was shared on Facebook, where it was revealed that the duo were regular customers of the launderette.

University student Kalvinderjeet Kaur, 22, said it was important to ensure the culprits could be identified and arrested.

“Education is important. The younger generation must know the difference between right and wrong,” she said.

Retiree K.A. Lee, 65, said another idea was to have a security guard stationed at 24-hour launderettes including having CCTVs installed.

“This proved successful as they (police) managed to arrest the culprits for both the robbery and cat killing cases,” he said.

Self-employed Baljit Kaur, 37, said it was better to have a second-hand washing machine at home instead of visiting launderettes in the middle of the night.

“It is not worth getting mugged or molested because predators are waiting to harm people and evidently animals too,” she added.

Businessman Johnny Choong, 52, felt education was key to preventing people from committing crimes.

“I don’t know what the world has come to because some people are sick in their heads.

“Educating the young on what is right and wrong is very important so they can grow up to become responsible citizens,” he said.

University student Nur Hidayah Abdul Mutalip, 24, said moral education should start in pre-school.

She said it boiled down to people’s attitude and behaviour.

“We saw adults carrying out the cruel act against the cat and they should have known better,” she added.

Nur Hidayah said it would be good if security guards were hired to ensure the smooth running of 24-hour launderettes as a short-term measure, and possibly putting the closing time at 10pm.

Freelance writer Tunku Shahariah Tunku Yusoff said installing CCTVs and hiring security guards should be made compulsory for places like launderettes.

“Installing emergency buttons especially for lone female patrons will be useful,” she added.

Airline company instructor Mupinderjeet Kaur, 52, felt education was of utmost importance including having more jobs with adequate salaries so people would not resort to comitting crimes.

“Some people don’t have secure jobs so they get influenced by their peers and commit crimes.

“The authorities should instal more CCTVs at housing areas and shoplots to prevent such incidences from happening,” she said.

“Those up to no good will be more alert if there were cameras installed,” she added.

Northern Region , Perak , laundrette , robbery , viral