Un­lock­ing the se­cret of safety

Friday - - Ed’s Letter -

Grow­ing up in the English coun­try­side we never used our front door (“Round the back,” my mother would shout to any­one knock­ing on it), nor would we dream of lock­ing the back one un­less we were go­ing on hol­i­day. Even then, ev­ery­one knew where the key was kept – in the same place as ev­ery­one else’s in the UK: un­der the mat. Luck­ily there were never any bur­glar­ies in our vil­lage, but it wouldn’t have taken much to break in. Just one quick look un­der the hes­sian rug or pot plant on ev­ery porch and the would-be thieves could have marched in through the front door.

Imag­ine my shock when I moved to Lon­don, where ev­ery­thing was triple bolted. The fear of what was lurk­ing out­side ev­ery grilled and alarmed front door was one of the rea­sons I bolted for Dubai, where I feel ul­tra safe.

I reg­u­larly for­get to lock my front door, and my chil­dren of­ten leave it wide open so they and the dog can race in and out, much to my an­noy­ance. But imag­ine hav­ing no front door, like the en­tire vil­lage of Shani Shing­na­pur in In­dia, where no build­ings have one – not even the bank.

Noth­ing is un­der lock and key and yet it has a vir­tu­ally zero crime rate. There have been only five recorded bur­glar­ies – ever! Read about it on page 14 and tell me what you think of that story and the rest of the is­sue. Un­til next week,

Karen Pasquali Jones



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