Scholarly article on topic 'Do they Feel Fear without Fence?'

Do they Feel Fear without Fence? Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Siti Rasidah Md Sakip, Norhafizah Abdul Rahman, Nadiyanti Mat Nayan

Abstract The Roadmap of Government Transformation Program 2010 reported that the sense of fear of crime among Malaysians is quite high which is 89 percent. So, the questions is, do they feel safe without fence? Therefore, this paper seeks on the neighborhood with no fence to identify the sense of safety and fear of crime (FOC) among residents. The result indicates that longer resident living in residential areas is significant with perceptions of crime (POC) in the neighborhood (p = 0.00). The more people go out at night is also significant with POC in the neighborhood (p = 0.012).

Academic research paper on topic "Do they Feel Fear without Fence?"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 222 (2016) 738 - 746

ASLI QoL2015, Annual Serial Landmark International Conferences on Quality of Life

ASEAN-Turkey ASLI QoL2015 AicQoL2015Jakarta, Indonesia. AMER International Conference on Quality of Life The Akmani Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia, 25-27 April 2015

"Quality of Life in the Built & Natural Environment 3 "

Do They Feel Fear without Fence?

Siti Rasidah Md Sakip , Norhafizah Abdul Rahman, Nadiyanti Mat Nayan

Faculty of Architecture, Planning and Surveying, Universiti TeknologiMARA, 32610 Bandar Seri Iskandar, Malaysia

Abstract

The Roadmap of Government Transformation Program 2010 reported that the sense of fear of crime among Malaysians is quite high which is 89 percent. So, the questions is, do they feel safe without fence? Therefore, this paper seeks on the neighborhood with no fence to identify the sense of safety and fear of crime (FOC) among residents. The result indicates that longer resident living in residential areas is significant with perceptions of crime (POC) in the neighborhood (p = 0.00). The more people go out at night is also significant with POC in the neighborhood (p = 0.012).

© 2016 The Authors.PublishedbyElsevierLtd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment- Behaviour Studies, Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.

Keywords: Crime; quality of life; fear of crime; sense of safety

1. Introduction

Urban population growth and development around the world have increased rapidly since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution (Merrick, 1989). Malaysia currently, experiencing rapid development in achieving the mission of government's vision towards the Vision 2020. Therefore, Malaysia faces many challenges to be a

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +6-019-279-85994; fax: +6-053-742-244.. E-mail address: sitir704@perak.uitm.edu.my

1877-0428 © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment- Behaviour Studies, Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia. doi : 10.1016/j .sbspro. 2016.05. 143

development country such as escalating crime rates (Wong, 2006). In the Government Transformation Programme, the overall crime rate in Malaysia has increased from 746 reported crimes per 100,000 persons in 2006 to 767 in 2007 and 2008, a rise of nearly 3% (M. Hedayati Marzbali, 2011). Today's crime using a weapon (knife, gun, sharp object) began to disrupt the lives of Malaysian people. The news distributed in the media has an impact on residents' perception of anxiety and feel less secure, especially when the crime of murder happened in residential areas. In spite of that, the sense of security is important for residents to ensure their families and their homes are safe from crime. If this could not happen, hence it will cause feelings of high anxiety and negative effects on individuals and communities (Merry, 1981). For this reason, scholars found that fear of crime has a relationship with housing (Merry, 1981; Siti Rasidah. M.S, 2013; Wilson-Doenges, 2000). The research highlights the importance of the physical environment in shaping perceptions of crime and safety. A Fence is one of the elements in physical structures can give the sense of security for residents. Therefore, the gated communities housing development nowadays is a new concept of housing scheme and get a high demand of buyers because the residents believed that the gated communities can give the sense of security for them. In Malaysia, the development of gated community residential concept entails two elements of gate namely at every individual lot and also around the perimeter of the residential area which coupled with a security guard post at the entrance to the residential area (Siti Rasidah. M.S, 2013). It means a gated community in Malaysia has a double gated: first gate in their compartment (lot area) and the second gate installed in the neighborhood area.

However, there are also have a neighborhood without gate installed. So, the question is; is it resident feel safe without fence?. This research seeks to fill this gap. Therefore, the main objective of this paper is to examine the fear of crime among resident living in the neighborhood with no fence. The result of this study provides further insight into the way in which built environment shapes the sense of security.

2. Literature review

The sense of fear of crime is defined as a feeling associated with emotional responses, feelings of fear and anxiety of something that is perceived to be detrimental or injury to a person (Pain, 2000; Ross & Jang, 2000). This feeling can be explained as an expression of feeling or signal who feels in danger - related to crime (Lee, 2001; Pain, 2000; Stephen, Emily, & Jonathan, 2007). Stephen et al., (2007) argued that sense of fears is one of the experiences related to the frequency of the crimes experiences that lead to high of feelings of anxiety or known as an emotional damage or malfunction. The causal factors of fear of crime are influenced by demographic background such as gender (Austin, Furr, & Spine, 2002; Day, 2001; Hipp, 2010), age (Bannister & Fyfe, 2001; Roh & Oliver, 2005), socio-economic (Joseph, 1997; Perkins, Wandersman, Rich, & Taylor, 1993), education (Austin et al., 2002), the length occupied in residential area (Hipp, 2010) and ethnicity (Wilcox, Quisenberry, & Jones, 2003).

The environmental factors also influence the fear of crime, namely the physical environment (Nasar & Fisher, 1993; Perkins, Weeks, & Taylor, 1992), social environment (Austin et al., 2002; O'Shea, 2006; Renauer, 2007) victimization (Lewis & Salem, 1980; Reid, 2000; Wilcox et al., 2003) and possibility to be a crime victim. The physical environment can explain as any development on fixed elements based on the planning and physical design. The anxiety about the physical environment exists when the physical environmental disorder occur that leading to criminal behavior (Harang, 2003). In spite that, social environmental disorder caused by bad behavior such as drunk in public areas, drug addiction, prostitution, teenage loitering and homeless are led to the fear of crime (Renauer, 2007; Welsh & Hoshi, 2002). When a neighborhood has a problem of social disorder, it is a symbol of high crime in the neighborhood. According to Nasar & Fisher (1993), victimization categorized into direct victimization and indirect victimization. Direct victimization is someone who has been a victim of actual crime. Meanwhile, indirect victimization is worried due to a person heard the news, issues, criminal cases from friends, relatives, neighbors and media (Banks, 2005; Ferguson & Mindel, 2007).

In the theory of environmental criminology explained how the design and structure of physical space impedes surveillance and facilitates criminal of physical space impedes surveillance and facilitates criminal opportunities (Rollwagen, 2014). Based on Defensible Space theory by Newman (1972), discussed on how the residential space will defend against criminal activity by focusing on territoriality. Territoriality refers to real and symbolic barriers that elicit a sense of control and responsibility for a physical space (Newman, 1972). It refers to how people manage the spaces they own, how they occupy these spaces or use them at varying times. It involves behaviors that are

concerned with management and maintenance of the spaces, as well as cognitions, displayed through attitudes and sentiments. Cognitions are mainly responsive to current conditions, such as one's feelings of annoyance towards people who vandalize the street light in front of the house or those who throw litter into the garden. Although not purposely geared towards setting management, territorial functioning can contribute to the local ecology by playing a key role in the local territorial dynamic (Aldrin, 1999). A person's behavior, whether intended or unintended has consequences for the local setting. In other words, strong territorial functioning prompts residents to exercise informal social control (Rollwagen, 2014).

Therefore, this paper will find out and analyze of all the variables that affect the feelings of fear of crime against people who live in a residential area with not fenced. These findings can identify the presence of possible other factors that influence the feeling of fears'.

3. Case study: Putrajaya

Putrajaya is the administrative center of the Malaysian federal government that replaced Kuala Lumpur in 1999. The name was given based on the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj. The development of Putrajaya is based on the concept of a garden city with focusing on the provision of open space and recreation areas covering an approximately 39% of the total area in Putrajaya. Residents in Putrajaya in 2007 was 49,452 peoples (Putrajaya, 2009) concentrated on three main precinct; in Precinct 9 (44.60%), Precinct 11 (26.30%) and Precinct 8 (14.90%). Bumiputeras (95.5%) is dominated resident group in Putrajaya compared to another ethnicity (4.50%) (Putrajaya, 2009). Residential area in the precinct 9 was chosen for this study because of the highest number of population compared with another precinct. In addition, the precinct 9 is also the earliest residential areas in Putrajaya (Putrajaya, 2009). The design of a residential area in Precinct 9 are designed without gated elements and equipped with modern facilities to meet the community's needs. This neighborhood involved of two-storey terrace houses without gated application. This concept of housing (without gated element) is the first applying in Malaysia (Roslan Talib, 2009). Based on the crime statistics report for seven residential areas in Putrajaya (Precinct 8,9,10, 11,14,16 and 18) in the years 2005 to 2007, Precinct 9 has a highest criminal statistic of burglary (refer Table 1). It has to do with a high population in the neighborhood area. Specifically, burglary crimes in Precinct 9 have increased by 15 per case for a period of 5 years (2005 to 2009). The daytime housebreaking is higher (89 cases) compared with the nighttime burglary (68 cases) as shown in Table 2.

Table 1. Burglary crime statistics by residential area in Putrajaya in 2005 to 2009

Types of crime Daytime of burglary Nighttime Burglary

Year/ Residential P8 P9 P10 P11 P14 P16 P18 P8 P9 P10 P11 P14 P16 P18

2005 4 9 - 1 - 4 - 6 19 1 17 3 1 -

2006 - 16 1 7 - 2 - - 5 5 5 - 2 -

2007 1 9 - 8 - 8 - - 13 - 1 - 1 -

2008 3 28 - 10 3 1 5 2 15 1 11 2 - -

2009 2 27 1 5 3 7 5 2 16 - 10 3 1 1

Note: P8,P9,P10,P11,P14,P16,P18= Precinct 8, Precinct 9, Precinct 10, Precinct 11, Precinct 14, Precinct 16, Precinct 18 Source: Royal Malaysia Police, Putrajaya branch

Table 2. Burglary crime statistics in Precinct 9 in 2005 to 2009

Types of crime 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Daytime of burglary 9 16 9 28 27

Nightime of burglary 19 5 13 15 16

Total 28 21 22 43 43

Source: Royal Malaysia Police, Putrajaya branch

4. Research methodology

The research method included a structured questionnaire, which was administered in the context of face-to-face structured and formal interviews. The settings of the interviews were the preselected residential areas in Precinct 9 in Putrajaya. The focus of this study involves groups of residents earning a medium high level of income between RM3000 to RM5000 and are categorized as able to afford medium-high cost houses (JPBD, 2009; Putrajaya, 2009). The study employs the population survey approach on individual non-gated residential areas in Putrajaya. The neighborhood area in Precinct 9 is selected for the case study because of the highest population in the area compared to another precinct (Putrajaya, 2009). This neighborhood involved 201 households. The respondents comprised of heads of households or the main bread earners in the household. Hence, either the husband or the wife was selected as respondent on account of their responsibility towards the residence. In the event both parties agreed to be the respondents, only one will be randomly selected. Before commencing questionnaire and observatory studies, a preliminary site study was conducted to identify unoccupied residences such as neighborhood watch beats, kindergartens, child care centers, storage buildings and vacant residences. Out of 275 residences, 11 have been eliminated from the respondent selection list as they have been identified as having a non-residential use. On the whole, this population study involved a total of 264 residences and the response rate is 31%.

4.1. Measuring the fear of crime

The fear of crime (FOC) construct is based on four dimensions; (a) physical environment (PHE), (b) social environment (SOE), (c) indirect victimization (INV) and (d) possibility to be a crime victim (PCV). All these dimensions were measured using questionnaire items adapted from past questionnaire studies by Banks (2005), British Crime Survey (2005), Ferguson and Mindel (2007), Nasar and Fisher (1993), O'Shea (2006) as well as Perkins, Weeks and Taylor (1992). Every item or statement in this questionnaire will be followed by eight choices of answers using the Likert Scale. Choices of response range from (1) Highly Disagree to (8) Highly Agree for the PHE, SOE, INV and PCV dimensions. A high score indicates that the respondent has a high degree of fear of crime and conversely a mean score indicates a low fear of crime.

The validation and confirmation of all constructs were done using Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA). EFA is used to gather information about the interrelationship among a set of variables (Pallant, 2005). The result for the level of reliability was found by calculating the Cronbach's Alpha. The dimensions of the construct have a good reliability value as the Cronbach's Alpha value exceeds 0.60 (Nunnally & Bernstein, 1994). The results indicated that the Alpha values for fear of crime (FOC) dimensions were the physical environment (PHE) = .95, social environment (SOE)=.96, indirect victimization (INV)=.93 and possibility to be a crime victim (PCV)= .88. The Cronbach's Alpha value for a perception of crime in the neighborhood (POC) construct was .89. These results of Alpha value for all construct and dimensions achieved good Alpha reliability levels (Nunnally & Bernstein, 1994) as shown in Table 3.

Table 3. Cronbach's Alpha value for all construct

Constructs Dimension Description of Items Corrected Item-Total Correlation Reliability (Cronbach's Alpha)

Perception of Occurrences of house break-ins or theft .79

crime in neighbourhood (POC) Theft of vehicles (cars, motorcycles, vans, bicycles, lorries and others. Vandalism problems such as breaking windows or destruction of public proper Problems regarding the selling and buying of drugs Physical attack on individuals such as assault .81 .63 .75 .80 .89

Fear of crime (FOC) Physical Environment I feel worried when I come across vandalism I feel worried when walking in areas with dense and unkempt .86 .95 .95

(PHE) vegetation

I feel worried when walking along abandoned housing project areas

Social

Environment

I worry when I come across people loitering about near to residential area

I feel worried when I come across people who are intoxicated I worry when encountering people who are homeless

Indirect victimization

I feel worried when I hear about news regarding crime through the media

I feel worried when I hear stories or experiences about being victims 84 of crime from friends and neighbours

I frequently reflect on images of crime when reading crime related news

Possibility to be a crime victim

I feel worry the possibility my house break-ins I feel worry the possibility get physical attack/assault I feel worry the possibility theft of vehicles I feel worry the possibility get sexual harassment I feel worry the possibility to be a victim of rape

.78 .64 .72 .78 .73

4.2. Result and discussion

Respondent involved in this research is 65.4% female and 34.6% male. They were 46.9% aged in 40s followed by the 30s (37%), 50s (8.6%) and 20s (7.4%). 43.2% of respondent have stayed in the residential area for 3 to 4 years, followed by 5 to 6 years (25.9%) and 1 to 2 years (22.2%). Most of the respondents are renters (86.4%), married (90.1%) and had higher education up to university level (84%). Most of them work in private companies (66.7%), and only 24.7% are employed in the government sector and the rest worked in the private sector (4.9%) and retirees

(3.7%).

Table 4. Perception on crime in neighborhood

Items Mean SD

Occurrences of house breaks-in or theft 2.06 1.26

Theft of vehicles (cars, motorcycles, vans, bicycles, lorries and others) 1.81 1.05

Vandalism problems such as breaking windows and destruction of public property 2.55 1.38

Problems regarding the selling and buying of drugs 1.72 1.01

Physical attack on individuals such as assault 1.66 0.83

The other objective of this paper is to seek the sense of fear of crime among residents. Table 4 shows the result of the perception of crime in the neighborhood (POC). This construct used to identify the problems of crime in the neighborhood area. There are five items in POC, and the finding shows that vandalism is the most problematic in the neighborhood (M=2.55, SD=1.38), followed by house breaks-in (M=2.06, SD=1.26). This finding indicates that respondents are more worried on vandalism and burglary in their neighborhood. It has relation with crime statistic in the neighborhood (refer Table 2) which states that the burglary in the neighborhood is increased. This result is in line with items in the variable of possibility to be a crime victim (PCV) which found that the respondent is more worried about the possibility their home was broken into (M = 3.43, SD = 1.50) as shown in Table 5. A concern of vandalism is possibility has to do with the environmental in the neighborhood as mentioned by Rollwagen. H (2014). He stated that the built environment played a role in shaping individual experiences and perception of crime.

Fear of crime (FOC) construct includes four dimensions that are the physical environment (PHE), social environment (SOE), indirect victimization (INV) and possibility to be a crime victim (PCV). In PHE, mostly residents have a sense of fear towards abandoned housing (M=3.97, SD=1.86) and worried when came across with people in intoxicated on SOE (M=4.02, SD=1.98), fears when hearing someone in crime victims from their neighbors or friends on INV (M=4.14, SD= 1.59) and worried if possibility their homes breaks into on PCV (M= 3.43, SD=1.50) as shown in Table 5. This result found that hearing crime news from television, radio or any electronic media, newspaper, friends or neighbors give the sense of fear of (Grabosky, 1995). This result is consistent with Killias (1990), argued that they will imagine the criminal acts depicted from the newspapers, news, friends, etc. that cause a worry if it happens to them.

Table 5. The mean and standard division for dimension of fear of crime

Dimensions Items Mean SD

Physical Environment (PHE) I feel worried when I come across vandalism 3.70 1.69

I feel worried when walking in areas with dense and unkempt vegetation 3.83 1.76

I feel worried when walking along abandoned housing project areas 3.97 1.86

Social Environment (SOE) I worry when I come across people loitering about near to residential area 3.98 1.60

I feel worried when I come across people who are intoxicated 4.02 1.98

I worry when encountering people who are homeless 3.96 1.95

Indirect victimization (INV) I feel worried when I hear about news regarding crime through the media 3.75 1.57

I feel worried when I hear stories or experiences about being victims of crime from 4.14 1.59

friends and neighbours

I frequently reflect on images of crime when reading crime related news 3.53 1.35

Possibility to be a crime victim I feel worry the possibility my house break-ins 3.43 1.50

(PCV) I feel worry the possibility get physical attack/assault 2.62 0.95

I feel worry the possibility theft of vehicles 3.37 1.45

I feel worry the possibility get sexual harassment 2.50 1.15

I feel worry the possibility to be a victim of rape 2.50 1.26

T-test analysis was conducted to identify the FOC on homeowners for PHE, SOE, INV, PCV, and POC. The result shows there is a significant difference between PHE on the homeowner (t(79)=2.94; p=0.00) but not significant with other variables (SOE, INV, PCV, POC). In spite, that, gender is not a significant difference in any dimension on FOC as shown in Table 6. This result explained the respondents are more worried towards the physical environment. Possibility it has associated with a neighborhood setting such as an isolated area, bushes and any vandalism (Rollwagen. H, 2014).

Table 6. T-test analysis of physical environment, social environment, indirect victimization and possibility to be a crime victim

Independent Samples Test

Levene's Test for Equality of Variances t-test for Equality of Means

F Sig. t df Sig. (2- tailed) Mean Difference Std. Error Difference 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference

Lower Upper

PHE Equal variances assumed 2.427 .123 2.94579 .004 4.64545 1.57758 1.50536 7.78555

Equal variances not assumed 2.52712.161.026 4.64545 1.83804 .64658 8.64433

SOE Equal variances assumed 7.990 .006 2.37479 .020 4.02597 1.69589 .65039 7.40156

Equal variances not assumed 1.83311.591.093 4.02597 2.19648 -.77855 8.83050

INV Equal variances assumed 4.143 .045 1.70479 .092 2.34026 1.37305 -.39273 5.07325

Equal variances not assumed 1.30511.553.217 2.34026 1.79262 -1.58234 6.26286

PCV Equal variances assumed Equal variances not assumed 5.460 .022 2.46879 .016 1.95811.722.074 11.01169 11.01169 4.46174 5.62465 2.13082 -1.27574 19.89256 23.29912

POC Equal variances assumed Equal variances not assumed 1.234 .270 .748 79 .457 .890 15.569.387 1.14675 1.14675 1.53395 1.28828 -1.90650 -1.59044 4.20001 3.88395

Note: PHE= physical environment, SOE= social environment, INV= indirect victimization, PCV= possibility to be a crime victim, POC= perception on crime in neighborhood

The correlation between the variable in fear of crime was analyzed to identify the significant correlation between variables. The output in Table 7 shows that the relationship between perception of crime in neighborhood (as measured by POC), possibility to be a crime victim (PCV), physical environment (PHE), social environment (SOE), and indirect victimization (INV) and was investigated using Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient. There was a strong, positive correlation between PCV with POC (r=.55, n=81, p<.0005), PHE with POC (r=.52, n=81, p<.0005), SOE with POC (r=.49, n=81, p<.0005), SOE with PHE (r=.91, n=81, p<.0005), INV with POC (r=.51, n=81, p<.0005), INV with PHE (r=..86, n=81, p<.0005) and INV with SOE (r=.877, n=81, p<.0005).

Table 7. Correlation between perception on crime in neighborhood, possibility to be a crime victim, physical environment, social environment and indirect victimization

Variables 1 2 3 4

(1) Perception on crime in neighborhood (POC)

(2) Possibility to be a crime victim (PCV) .555*

(3) Physical environment (PHE) .520** .227

(4) Social environment (SOE) .497** .126 .912**

(5) Indirect victimization (INV) .518** .183 .864** .877**

*. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed) **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed)

Next, this study also identifies the correlation between age groups within the variables of fear of crime. A oneway between-groups analysis of variance was conducted to explore the impact of age on POC, PHE, SOE, INV, and PCV. Subjects were divided into four groups according to their age (Group 1:20s; Group 2: 30s, Group 3: 40s and Group 4: 50s and above). There was a statistically significant difference at the p<.05 level for the POC for the four age group [F(3, 77) = 3.026, p=.03], PHE with the age group [F(3, 77) = 15.17, p=.00], SOE with the age group [F(3, 77) = 10.9, p=.00], and INV with the age group [F(3, 77) = 13.22, p=.00]. However, there are not significantly within PCV with the age group [F(2, 13) = .876, p=.43]. Despite reaching statistical significance, the actual difference in mean score between the groups was quite small. The effect size, calculated using eta squared was PHE= 0.3, SOE= 0.2, and INV=0.3. The result is shown in Table 8.

Table 8. ANOVA analysis between physical environment, social environment, indirect victimization and possibility to be a crime victim on group of age

Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.

POC Between Groups 187.695 3 62.565 3.026 .035

Within Groups 1591.885 77 20.674

Total 1779.580 80

Between Groups 770.790 3 256.930 15.179 .000

PHE Within Groups Total 1303.383 2074.173 77 80 16.927

SOE Between Groups 689.796 3 229.932 10.901 .000

Within Groups 1624.155 77 21.093

Total 2313.951 80

Between Groups 499.204 3 166.401 13.227 .000

INV Within Groups 968.673 77 12.580

Total 1467.877 80

Between Groups 50.371 2 25.185 .876 .439

PCV Within Groups 373.567 13 28.736

Total 423.938 15

Note: PHE= physical environment, SOE= social environment, INV= indirect victimization, PCV= possibility to be a crime victim, POC= perception on crime in neighborhood

5. Conclusion

The main goal of this paper is to identify the sense of fear of crime among resident in the neighborhood with no gated/fence. This research found that the residents in Precinct 9 Putrajaya do have a sense of fear of crime, but it's specific to the physical environment. This finding approved that the environmental setting is an important elements as factors of feeling of security. However, social cohesion in a neighborhood is influenced by the sense of fear of crime. This is an important element that needs to investigate in the future research of this study. In spite, this study has shown that physical and social environment, the perception of crime in the neighborhood, indirect victimization and the possibility to be a crime victim had a positive and highly interrelated to each other. Instead also ages significantly to the feelings of anxiety about crime.

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