Source: Vientiane Times
The people of the capital of Laos are, by and large, peaceful and law-abiding but as with all other cities around the world, they too face the problem of crimes such as thefts and burglaries.
Of late, the people of Vientiane have been troubled by several instances of car thefts and break-ins and it should be the mission of police officials to investigate these crimes and punish the wrong-doers under the laws of the country.
Car thefts have occurred in many areas of Vientiane and in some other provinces, especially during the celebration of festivals or other important events.
Recently, a victim of one such crime told Vientiane Times that thieves climbed over a wall and entered her home, damaged her vehicles and stole her brother’s motorcycle this year. There has been complete silence from officials on these crimes even though they had been able to collect evidence such as fingerprints and footage from Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras that recorded the activities of the thieves.
She said the thieves broke in and stole things that were kept inside the car in the early hours of October 24. She added that her brother’s motorcycle was stolen by two thieves on April 21. In both cases, officials of the area had come and collected information about the crimes.
“Moreover, on October 25, another thief tried to break into my restaurant but luckily, my brother saw him and he ran away. It appears my house is a favourite target of gangsters because two thieves tried to jump over a wall and enter my house again on November 22. But this time, I had security guards and the thieves fled after they were found by the guards. But what about the other thieves in Vientiane?” the woman asked.
She said she had reported all these incidents to police officials and others responsible for security in her village but had received no feedback or update on their investigation till now.
“There were four crimes targeting me and my family in one place in central Vientiane this year. So what about other areas and other victims in Vientiane and the provinces? The public are questioning what the police officials and district and village authorities are doing, and the victims wonder how safe they are,” said the woman who did not want to be identified.
“The officials used to ask the people through the media to install CCTV systems as it is the best way to collect information on crimes. They also seek the cooperation of people, victims and others living near the crime scenes. But what is this, they already got the information they wanted and they still have nothing to report about progress in their investigation. The victims do not feel very confident about their security,” she added.
“Everyone understands that police investigations are secret but they should at least tell the victims what is happening.”
In another case in Vientiane, a police official’s stolen motorcycle was found within two months last year. This was because the victim told other police officials to find the motorcycle.
Some people have even complained that victims now think the crimes that affected them would be taken seriously only if they are related to some police official. Some victims have also alleged that they had to pay large sums of money to officials to help find their stolen vehicles, but even then it took a lot of time.
Relevant authorities should look into these issues and help address such problems in order to build more confidence among the people. On the other hand, the public should also cooperate with the law enforcement agencies if they have evidence such as CCTV footage of crimes.
There should be more cooperation on problems such as thefts and burglaries because if there is no solidarity, these issues will not be resolved and Vientiane won’t be peaceful.