City Safety


Earlier this week, we discussed safety or the lack there of within the city. This topic spawned quite the discussion that spawned some very interesting side conversations and comments that prompted me to delve deeper into how safe a person is in a big city.  What crimes are common and who is more at risk, women or men? However, the most important question is, how can these crimes be avoided?

The city is full of excitement and intrigue. The streets are flooded with young, naive silver-screen hopefuls, just trying to make a name for themselves and in most cases barely making it from month to month financially. They provide the surface pulse that makes these cities so attractive to newcomers. But what lurks in the shadows that flood the alleyways? What stalks the moonlit sidewalks in the residential districts? Desperation and desire does. Criminals know where they are least likely to be caught committing a crime and choose these areas to operate in.


In 2010, New York City Police Department responded to, 28,473 robberies, 2,771 forcible rapes, and 866 murders. That’s a total of 32,110 crimes on the street in one year, robbery being the most committed crime by far.  Reported rapes totaled 2,771; however, this number only reflects a percentage of the actual rapes that occurred. It is speculated that 54% of women don’t report being raped to the authorities for many different reasons.  Faced with numbers like these, it’s hard to feel safe within the city.

Are women more susceptible to being victims of crime than men? The answer to this is unexpected but substantiated by facts, men. Males are more likely to become victims of crime than women. Personally, I thought that women would dominate the statistics as victims because, to me, women appear more vulnerable than men. This being said, The Bureau of Justice Statistics says that in 2008 21.4 men per thousand citizens were victims of a crime whereas 16.7 women per thousand were reported to be the victims of a crime. This is a complete contrast to what most of us assumed in class.

                Public safety is a legitimate concern, so what are cities doing to make their streets safer for their citizens? One effort to increasing safety, or at least instilling a sense of safety for citizens are the emergency stations positioned throughout the campus here at Auburn University. These give people the feeling that they have a means of drawing attention to them if the need should arise.  New York City is too large to implement this type of system so they do what they can do, increase police activity in areas where criminal activity is on the rise or has proven to be a problem. They city also offers recommendations to their citizens through their public safety division website. The most important thing a person can do to ensure their safety and the safety of their belongings is to be aware of their surroundings and stay in well-lit and populated areas. In a city with a population as large as New York City’s, ensuring safety falls upon the individuals and should be considered every day.





Uniform Crime Reports, . “New York Law Enforcement Agency Uniform Crime Reports.” New york crime rates 1960 – 2010. Disaster Center, 2010. Web. 30 May 2012. <;.


New York City. NYPD. Crime Prevention Division of New York City, 2012. 0. 30 May 2012.                                       



Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Violent Victimization Rates by Gender.

            2012. 0. 30 May 2012.


RAINN, . “Reporting Rates.” Rainn. Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network, 2010. Web. 30 May 2012. <;.





Filed under City Cultures

3 responses to “City Safety

  1. I found this post very interesting, especially the paragraph that included the statistics about gendered crime. Personally, I also thought women would lead the crime statistic heavily, but I found it quite shocking to know that more men are vicitims of crime than women. Of course, like you stated earlier, over half the women who fall victim to rape actually report it to authorities. This large chunk of crime rate, I’m guessing, is not included in the male-female crime victim statistic. If the majority of those rape charges were in fact reported, I feel that the statistic of female crime victims would be much higher and closer to the male’s statistic. I like that you incorporated several issues into this post as well by discussing general safety issues, issues specific to genders, and what cities are doing to decrease crime rate. I think it would be neat to even add things from the perspective of someone who had committed a crime or something along those lines. For most of us, we identify with the “victim” role because we are most likely not the one committing th crime, but it would be interesting to see why/how one committed a crime, or even what their thought process was. Furthermore, you could even talk about what criminals look for in a victim, etc. Anyways, Ifound this post very interesting and educational, going right along with the readings and class discussions. Great job!

  2. auburn22

    I find it very interesting that men are more likely t become victims of a crime. I guess that TV shows such as Law and Order SVU have helped to program women to believe that they are more vulnerable to being attacked. In regards to cities’ response to decreasing crime, I must say on a personal note that Auburn safety stations have helped to make me feel safer. When I lived on campus and had to walk at night, it was always reassuring to know that those stations were there as well as the security shuttle.

  3. A nicely supported post that carries the conversation from class in an interesting direction. There’s a striking difference between statistical realities of urban crime and the perceptions of them. I also wondered how big of a difference reporting rates would make on the rape statistic. Why do you think the narratives about urban crime have so much more of an impact on perception than actual statistics do? I wonder if you’d be interested in reading about and perhaps analyzing the narratives surrounding two very important names in urban crime: Kitty Genovese (1960s, mugged in the courtyard of her apartment while many neighbors watched, victim of the bystander effect) and Bernie Goetz (subway vigilante in the 1980s).

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