Crime and Perception

I belong to an email loop for our neighborhood. I originally joined because apparently we live over the Barnett Shale natural gas reserve and there is a company that wants to drill in our area. But first, they have to buy our mineral rights. 🙂 Anyway, my neighborhood feels like we can get a better deal if we stand together and hold out for a better rate and some protections since the well won’t be very far from our neighborhood. They formed this little email group to keep communications about the bargaining with the gas company open among all of the neighbors.

Our little email group has experienced an uptick in crime lately (and no, I don’t think it has anything to do with the gas company). In just this last week there have been two car break-ins. In the first instance the criminals (most likely kids) stole a couple packs of gum, some sunglasses and other miscellaneous stuff. Make sure you hide your chewing gum people. I mean, come on! Who breaks into a car to steal GUM!?!?

The most recent was an attempt to steal the CAR. It was unsuccessful as it seems that the criminal was not as good at hotwiring as he apparently thought. Who knows.

But, it bothers me nonetheless. So, I started thinking about how many break-ins and petty crimes have probably happened in this neighborhood that I don’t know about. I don’t want my perception of the safety of my neighborhood to be negatively affected because now we have a better means to communicate when crime happens around here. There’s not necessarily more crime, just now I know more.

At any rate, the emails are a great reminder to remain vigilant. To call the police when I hear or see something suspicious, to turn on the lights, to lock the car doors.

I don’t think my neighborhood is any more dangerous than it was last week. Or five years ago. I have to keep reminding myself of that… it’s all about perception.

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