A letter to the Editor—Problems in the housing estate


Dear Editor,


Recently, one of the most serious and urgent problems in our housing estate – Happy Estate is that a gang of criminals has been tricking old people into giving them money. It is definitely a curse to our estate and has a detrimental effect on the safety of our estate as well. In light of this, on behalf of the Owners’ Association of Happy Estate, I am writing to describe how an old person was tricked in an incident and what she lost, as well as explain some of the measures our association has taken to protect people from being tricked in future.


The incident took place at a wayside partition in our estate, where only a scarce few residents passed nearby. In an evening two weeks ago, an 75 year old woman, she lived solitarily, went there and took a break. Soon after, a gang of criminals pretended that they were pions followers of faith, and one of them shared her personal experience with the others; she once took out all her savings and valuable accessories put them into a red plastic bag and buried the bag under a tree. She then prayed sincerely overnight at home. The next day, she went back to the tree again and discovered that the amount of money in the bag was double. The old woman believed in the criminal, so she took out all her saving and valuables and did exactly the same as what the criminal had mentioned. On the next day, unfortunately, when she dug the underground bag out, she found that all the banknotes had been replaced by piles of wastepaper. The victim – the old woman – lost all her savings and accessories, include her trousseau, which was worth more than a hundred thousand dollars. They were wholly taken away by the criminals during the night.


This sort of cases regularly appear on the news. Therefore, people should not overlook the seriousness of the crime. In order to protect people from being pricked, our association has taken some concrete measures to combat the crime.


First and foremost, raising the public awareness through education is a long term measure that can really make an impact. Several talks have been given by the police regularly to our residents, especially to the elderly, who have relatively lower sense of awareness of danger. People are able to know how victims are tricked and learn how to identify whether they are swindled. By this way can the residents’ awareness be raised. And people can be protected from being tracked in the future.


Furthermore, we have hired a double number of security guards patrolling the estate frequently, especially during the night, when more criminals are likely to appear. Once the guards notice anyone suspicious or anyone being tricked, the guards will immediately notify the police to minimize the loss of victim. This serves as an antidote against the crime.


In final consideration, our association cannot condone any criminals tricking the elderly and the situation getting more grievous. We hope that in the near future can the problem be eradicated.


Your faithfully, 

Chris Wong