Yangon people worry about rising crime
City residents are worried about their safety amid rising crime rates especially after the recent killing of a young Food and Drug Administration employee allegedly committed by a taxi driver in Yangon.
CITY folk fear for their lives and worry about their security amid a surge in crime in the area, the latest of which was the rape and killing of an employee of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some Yangon residents told The Myanmar Times.
“When I heard about the news of the killing of the FDA officer, I felt like a bomb had exploded in the centre of the city,” said Ma Su Mon, who lives in North Dagon township. “I was frightened almost out of my wits.”
“I feel sad for the girl. I am worried everyday, as I feel as if danger lurks around us,” she added. I do not dare to climb the stairs of my apartment alone, which I used to do. I do not think of hiring a taxi anymore.”
Ma Su Mon said the city centre is not safe even at 7pm.
The FDA officer, Shwe Yee Win, was on her way home in a taxi on January 20, when the driver allegedly robbed, raped and eventually killed her.
She was travelling from Hledan Centre to Dagon township where she lived. These are two of the busiest places in Yangon at 7 pm.
Ko Aung Kyaw Phone, a taxi driver, lamented that his income has dropped considerably since the killing.
“Our income has gone from bad to worse after the murder of the FDA employee,” he said. “Even men don’t trust taxi drivers anymore.”
He said it is very hard for taxi drivers to earn K10,000 kyats after paying for the rental of the car.
“There is mutual distrust between passengers and taxi drivers,” said Ko Aung Kyaw Phone.
According to the police, 270 rape cases were filed in 2017 in Yangon Region, 41 more than the previous year.
Yangon Region Police are planning to build a control centre to address the increasing crime in the region, a police spokesman said.
Spokesperson Police Major Hla Wai said the force’s officers are more busy responding to crime cases than they were in previous years, an indication that law enforcement is struggling to keep the country’s economic capital safe.
He expressed hope that by combining technology, improvements in police procedures and planning, crime can be addressed more effectively.
“We plan to build a control centre with over 300 cameras. But we don’t know the exact locations and date yet,” he said.
“We are negotiating to install these cameras with private companies,” he added. “Through the cooperation of the public, this technology will be of great assistance to our Eagle Operation”.
Eagle Operation is a communitybased policing system being implemented by the Yangon Police Force in 44 of the 45 townships in the region.
The operation aims to arrest criminals and people who are breaking the law under cover of darkness.
A prayer ceremony for the late Shwe Yee Win is held at Shwedagon Pagoda on Sunday.