I have been meaning to talk about the latest crime warning from the US Consulate here in Saigon as well. 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 of crime in this area expect for the normal pickpockets and backpack snatchers. I work in Thao Dien 5-6 days a week, have friends living here as well. I heard nobody mentioning increased amount of crime in this area. My staff and I also monitor 52 CCTV cameras across our campus and have no visible traces of crime here.
So the question is why the US Consulate is creating this false sense of crime in this city and across the 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 7 years living in Vietnam. Never been a victim of a petty crime or theft.
Not to say that there are not crimes being committed. It is safe to say, if you are dead drunk, stoned, etc., then you are making yourself a candidate for theft, etc. I had a former roommate returning home with a black eye after his drunken altercation in the backpacker area. You hear of guys getting beat up by a bunch of Vietnamese guys but you never hear the reason why. Was he drunk, most likely. Did he think he could beat up a Vietnamese guy? Probably.
The lists goes on but the US Consulate should be giving more sound advice. It is better to say that being under the influence of alcohol or drugs may increase the incident of a crime being committed against you. Or even better, if you think you can beat up the little Vietnamese guy, better to look around your surroundings first to identify which of the other “little” guys are his friends because you are about to get your butt kicked. That makes sound advice…
Anyway, here is the article below and a link to the full article:
On March 30, the US Consulate General’s office issued a cryptic warning to US citizens living in Ho Chi Minh City.
“During the last seven months, the Mission has received reports and verified numerous instances of pick-pocketing, bag snatches, and residential break-ins targeting the expatriate community,” the statement, titled “Warden Message,” read. “Additionally, two residential guards of an expat compound were found murdered while on duty.”
The message also stated that “there have been acts of extreme violence in local nightspots frequented by expats, including District 1.” No details were provided, but Americans were advised to use “the buddy system” in the city.
Since then Thanh Nien Weekly has tried to verify the crimes, without success.
But the reports appear to have alarmed and confused the city’s community of foreigners.
Source: Thanh Nien News
Read Expats clamor over crime here -> http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20110505101309.aspx