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2004-01-18 - 3:38 p.m.


Our neighborhood newsletter just summarized the crime statistics for 2003, touting them as "Neighborhood Crime down in 2003." Let's examine the results for ourselves:

Rape4750+ 6.4%
Robbery142189+ 33.1%
Aggravated Assault147127- 13.6%
Burglary625641+ 2.6%
Theft21551898- 11.9%
Auto Theft383434+ 13.3%
Arson4235- 16.7%
Total35463379- 4.7%

My chance of getting murdered or burglarized is about the same in 2003 as it was in 2004. However, my chance of getting raped, robbed, or my car stolen is higher. My chance of getting stolen from (presumably on the street or otherwise not from inside my house) or being a victim of arson is lower.

Why am I not feeling like crime has really dropped much (at least enough to warrant such an optimistic headline)? 4.7% total is barely statistically significant and some of the statistics, robbery and auto theft in particular, are up quite a bit in 2002 compared to 2003.

Don't worry, I still feel safe in my neighborhood, but I don't want to hide that bad things can (and do) happen. Also, I will make sure to always, always lock my car and my garage.

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