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Bangsar Baru to be guarded and gated
08/04/2009 NST By Halim Said

The Bangsar Baru Residents Association hopes to curb crime in quiet lanes like Jalan Telawi.

KUALA LUMPUR: Plans are afoot to turn Bangsar Baru, one of the city's most popular neighbourhoods, into a tightly-guarded and gated community.

The move, which includes the closure of some of the lanes, has been proposed as one of the ways to curb snatch thefts and muggings in the area, especially in the side lanes and back lanes around the busy Jalan Telawi business centre.

This was one of the measures discussed by the Bangsar Baru Residents Association (BBRA) committee during a recent meeting.

During the two-hour discussion held at the BBRA office in the Bangsar Sport Complex, the security committee put forward four proposals to combat the rising crime rate.

The four proposals are:

- To permanently close off the four side lanes between Jalan Telawi and Jalan Terasek 4 and place barricades at each of the entry and exit points.

Motorists will not be able to enter the lanes but pedestrians can still access them.

The parking lots in each of the lanes (eight in each lane) will no longer be accessible;

- Similar to the first proposal but with the additional permanent closure of the entry point into Jalan Telawi 7 and 8 and Lorong Terasek Kanan from Jalan Telawi.

Gantries will be installed with guards manning them round the clock.

The drawback is residents would have to take a longer route to get in and out of the area via Jalan Telawi 9 and 6. This may result in a bottleneck;

- Barricading eight entry points in Jalan Terasek (two barricades), Jalan Terasek 7 and 8, Jalan Telawi 6, 7, 8 and 9.

Gantries will be placed at each of these entry points, including one in Lorong Terasek Kanan. However, this will be costly and may cause traffic congestion; and

- No barricades but the four side lanes will be closed off. Guards will patrol the area around the clock.

Residents will also step up their neighbourhood watch effort and seek more police assistance.

The drawbacks here are the high cost involved and shortage of police personnel. (See graphics next page.)

After considering the four proposals, BBRA has decided to go ahead with the first initiative.

The association will be sending out notices to residents by next week to inform them of the move.

The closure of the side lanes, however, will only be implemented after the approval of Kuala Lumpur City Hall.

BBRA president Datuk George Joseph said snatch thefts were still rampant even though preventive measures, such as lighting up the side lanes and main roads at night, had already been taken.

"It also happens during the day. We have alerted residents to be wary but cases are still happening."

Joseph said he would meet City Hall officials soon to submit the proposals and work out the details.

He said with the closure of the four lanes, 32 parking spots would no longer be usable.

The loss is going to be a sore point with motorists as they are already having a hard time finding empty parking lots.

"We expect some congestion to arise but we will try to work out the traffic issues with City Hall," Joseph said.

BBRA security committee chairman Amrit Pal Singh said the move was timely as the crime situation was getting worse by the day.

"The side lanes are the hot spots for snatch thieves waiting to pounce on their victims."

Amrit said closing off the four side lanes would make it easier for police to nab culprits as they would have fewer escape routes.

"As for the other proposals, we will have to work in stages as they involve a huge sum of money and legal issues."

He said based on initial calculations, the 600 households in the area would each have to fork out RM40 a month to hire guards to patrol the neighbourhood.

"The fee will cover the guards' salaries and the security vehicles."

Brickfields police headquarters district crime officer deputy superintendent Jude Pereira, who attended the meeting, said snatch thefts were a frequent occurence in the Bangsar Baru area.

He said police had arranged for two patrol cars to patrol the area round the clock.

He said police supported the residents' move to curb crime in their neighbourhood.


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