Last night there were helicopters flying over my house again after someone fired a weapon at a house in a nearby neighborhood. As always, when this was reported people jumped on the community association email list to talk about not being safe, the increase in crime and how the police need to do more to protect them.
There are a few problems with this. One being that the community association actually pays for extra patrols and the county police are always out and about on regular patrols. I’m not sure what else they expect them to short of paying to put a police officer or private security on every corner. If we did that, they would feel safe, but would be complaining about the increase in taxes. The police and community association are doing their jobs. If you need more start a neighborhood watch.
The other problem with this is that their insistence that crime rates are going up. This is not true. I don’t have 2013 numbers because I’m not getting paid to call who I need to call to get the updated numbers, but according to the numbers from the last few years, crime is down significantly(http://www.goccp.maryland.gov/msac/crime-statistics-county.php?id=18 ) So, why do people think crime is up?
The perception comes from the east access to crime reporting theses days. It used to be that you got whatever news the paper or local tv felt was relevant. Most of the smaller crimes were never in the news. Now with all of the Patch online news sites, Facebook pages like Anne Arundel Breaking News and Events and emails for the police you can know everything thing that comes across the police scanner. All of this “reporting” gives the illusion that crime is up. All that is up is your awareness of the crime. No neighborhood will feel safe if you are aware of every report that comes over the scanner. You don’t need more police, you need less information.