Crime Rate in Mtr

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Question: In contrast to the underground railways in some large Western cities, Hong Kong’s MTR enjoys a very low crime rate. With a reference to environmental criminology, explain why this is the case.

Hong Kong MTR is one of the busiest underground transit systems in the world with around 4 million person-time passenger per day. (MTR, 2010a) In 2007, Hong Kong MTR annual ridership was the seventh highest in the world. (MTA, 2010) Meanwhile, this is our proud that Hong Kong MTR has a low crime rate, it helps to maintain MTR to be one of the famous underground transportation in the world with the praise of efficient, safe and comfortable. Of course, it is hard to meet ‘zero crime rate’. How much effort was shown to prevent crime in MTR?

In fact, Hong Kong is one of the cities in the world with a low crime rate. According to Hong Kong Yearbook 2009, “Hong Kong remains one of the world’s safest cities… The overall crime detection rate was 45.6 per cent.” In 2009, the total reported crime rate to police was 77,630, about 1180 cases per 100,000 population. (ISD, HKSARG, 2009) Only 1.5% of the above total crime rate happened in MTR. The crimes most likely happen in MTR including indecent assaults, pick-pocketing, shoplifting and indecent photo-taking. Though the crime rate was low, a senior superintendent from railway commander Oscar Kwok Yam-shu mentioned that it may keep rising in coming 10 years due to the increasing visitors in Hong Kong. For pick-pocketing case, it raise 59% in the first half year of 2010 to 121 cases compare with the same period of 2009. (THE Standard, 2010)

MTR has a high turnover rate of passengers. High density provides a lot of chances for crime, especially pickpocketing and indecent offence which take a very short period of time. Offenders think that other people can not easy to discover them. CCTV and petrol, these methods of increasing the perceived risks under the rational choice theory by Ron Clarke seems to be...
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