I’ve come across a very interesting website. By entering virtually any address you are familiar with from around the country, you will be able to see what crimes have been reported in that area, over specific time frames. By entering your own address, you can view what has been going on, illegally, around your neighborhood. I believe this is an excellent opportunity for all citizens to be able to see what potential dangers surround them. I also feel strongly that by being aware of what’s going on, you are better prepared to not make yourself a victim of crime. This valuable information is available at www.crimereports.com, and if your local law authorities do not already subscribe to or offer crime statistics to this site, you should lobby them to do so. An informed populace, is an aware and protected populace.
Not all crimes are written about in your local newspapers. That does not mean that newspaper editors do not find minor criminal happenings to be unimportant, it only means that there are more important stories that need to be printed on any given day. For example, Mrs. Jane Doe has her purse stolen while walking across the parking lot of a shopping mall on the same day that a popular, local charity has a huge fund raising event. I think that Mrs. Doe’s loss goes unknown, because the police did not have to draw a chalk outline around her body, while the charity raised enough money to send ten underprivileged kids to summer camp. Another example of a crime not being written about in the local paper, could involve a break-in at a house one block away from yours, where nothing is stolen due to the homeowner being alerted to the event, by the sound of someone breaking a rear window on his house on the same day that a medical research group announces the development of a new procedure to successfully combat skin cancer. I know the skin cancer story is going to be front page news, while the break-in remains newsworthy only to the homeowner whose window was broken. At crimereports.com, if the police submit their daily criminal investigative reports to the service, every minor and major crime that occurs, will show up on that web site.
By knowing what crimes have occurred around your neighborhood, you are more likely to be more attentive to your surroundings, and be on the look out for things that don’t seem right, or feel right. Let’s say that you usually walk from your house to the little grocery store on the corner, to pick up milk, bread, eggs, or anything else you may need. You live in a “safe” neighborhood, so you have no qualms about making this little trek that takes no more than fifteen to twenty minutes, and provides you with an avenue by which you accomplish some healthy exercise. On your way to the store, three teenagers suddenly come up behind you, and place something that feels like the barrel of a gun in the middle of your back, and demand that you hand over any money or other valuables you might be carrying. How in the world could this happen in your “safe” neighborhood? It happens, because you are not aware that two weeks ago, the same thing happened to somebody else, and you never heard about it because nobody got hurt during the robbery. By checking periodically at crimereports.com, you will be aware of the criminal activity that might be happening in your neighborhood, and be more prepared to avoid it. And by knowing what happened two weeks ago, you are probably getting in your car and driving to the store rather than walking. Especially if you’ve noticed some teens you don’t recognize, who just seem to be hanging around the area!
One of my wife’s scariest moments, occurred when she was walking across a department store parking lot after leaving the store, and realizing when she was about half way to her car, that there was a man rapidly approaching her at an angle from a different part of the parking lot. My wife being the safety conscious person she is, immediately turned and started hoofing it back to the store. She could hear the man calling after her, “miss, miss, I just want to ask you a question”, but that did not deter her from continuing her hasty return to the safety of the store. Once back inside the store, she spoke to a clerk about the incident, and that clerk called the store manager. Upon stepping outside to see if they could locate the man who had tried to approach my wife, they saw nothing out of the ordinary, but my wife still asked if someone could escort her safely back to her car. Fortunately, the store manager was more than willing to perform that service, and everything worked out fine. We learned later, that a number of other women had reported to the local police, that they had been approached in the same lot, and in two instances, had become the victims of a purse snatcher. That is the type of information you would like to have available when going somewhere, just so you can be on guard against the same thing happening to you.
Remember, being aware of things going on around you, can greatly assist in helping you not make yourself a victim of crime. Being cognizant of crimes in your area, could also help you be more observant of situations that could be warning signs of a crime about to take place. Make a visit to crimereports.com, enter your address, and see what’s going on around your neighborhood. If you happen to live around 501 East Olympic Boulevard in Spokane Washington, or 66 Neptune Drive in Virginia Beach, you will be pleased to discover, that no crimes have been reported in your areas between June 2nd and 16th of this year. However, if you live in Columbus Ohio, you will probably be dismayed to discover that 500 crimes have been reported over the same period of time! Be aware, be informed, and by all means, stay safe.