Further ado over crime

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Reader response to "Expats clamor over crime" page 8, Issue 83

Jumping the gun?

I have been meaning to talk about the latest crime warning from the US Consulate here in Saigon.

I just remember reading their warning wondering which crime they were talking about.

I live near the Pham Ngu Lao backpacker area, I have not heard of an increase in crime in this area except for the normal pickpockets and backpack snatchers. I work in Thao Dien 5-6 days a week and have friends living here as well. I never heard any mention of an increase in crime in this area.

So the question is why the US Consulate is creating this false sense of crime-ridden city and country? Vietnam is quite safe. You can walk around at night, even travel on your motorbike into the early morning hours and still be safe. I have never been robbed in my nearly seven years living in Vietnam. Never been a victim of a petty crime or theft.

Not to say there are no crimes being committed. It is safe to say, if you are dead drunk, stoned, etc., then you are making yourself a target for theft, etc. You hear of guys getting beat up by a bunch of Vietnamese but you never find out why. Was [the "victim"] drunk? Most likely. Did he think he could beat up a Vietnamese guy? Probably.

The list goes on, but the US Consulate should provide more sound advice. It is better to say that being under the influence of alcohol or drugs may increase the likelihood of a crime being committed against you.

Kevin Miller Jr.
Reprinted from his May 5 post on saigonnezumi.com

Just play safe

As a 5-year expat in HCMC, I do think crime is on the rise.

It seemed to start around the time of the World Cup when 6 of my friends were attacked in Thai Van Lung area late at night. Things settled down for a while but since Tet [lunar New Year] I have had more friends attacked and robbed than I have had in the last 4 years.

Some were pick-pocketed; others had their bag/chains snatched. There was one bad case where an elderly friend of mine was driven by a Vinasun taxi driver into a dark deserted hem [alley] and attacked by two xe om drivers.

There is no real point in reporting such crimes to the police as they very rarely do anything. However, as others have said, it is safe compared to most western cities and as long as you're careful and don't wander around drunk and alone late at night, you shouldn't have any problem.

Paul Devlin
Submitted online on May 11

Evidence aplenty

I created the file [of 66 crimes] after most of my friends and friends-of-friends were attacked: two with knives when going back home... one with a knife under her throat while coming back from the airport.

I'm not even talking about friends who end up being dragged on the ground and suffer multiple fractures. The list was made for French people, in the beginning, because our Consulate didn't seem to know about it. That's all.

Just because it doesn't happen to you doesn't mean it doesn't happen to others... I never go out, I don't wear jewelry, I never carry bags (it's usually in the locker of the motorbike), but one night

I came back home and two guys went after me "” one with a knife. That said, yes, this is like many other countries. But still, it is frightening.

I have a Vietnamese family here and friends. None have ever heard about such attacks. But some foreign friends and I have been victims of violent crimes. Yes, the assailants are after money, and who represents money to them? Expats, despite the fact that I am sure the rich Vietnamese are richer than most expats. We are easier targets as expats than in Western countries, where crime could happen to anyone.

I am happy that it doesn't happen to your friends, dear expats. But I can't say the same.

Compiled from two online posts: May 6 and 10

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