Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Crime in Logan Circle

Yesterday an email went out on the Logan Circle listserve with a link to Family Watchdog, a site that offers access to information from the national sex offender registry. Curious, I searched Logan Circle and found that we had a few convicted offenders living or working within a few blocks of my apartment. Most of them are pederasts, so as a childless household, I don't feel a threat from these guys (and they are all men). I was, however, surprised to discover that a rapist lives on my block especially since recidivism rates are high for sexual offenders. Then again, as Mr. 14th & You pointed out to me, I won't really alter my behavior knowing that he's on the block. I also don't remember encountering anyone who looks like him in the four plus years I've lived here.

Another interesting tool is the CrimeReports.com website. It's really amazing when you see all of the flags around Logan for reported crimes in the past week. Then again, the plurality of the crimes appear to be vehicle burglaries or thefts of vehicles. In fact, most of the area crime consists of burglaries and thefts crimes of opportunity; violent crime is comfortably low.

So my question to you is: How much do you care about the crime data? Are you ever concerned for your safety or about your property after reading such statistics?

I follow basic city living precautions like not walking through alleys alone and never leaving anything of value in my car. I've always felt fairly safe in Logan Circle, and the only crimes I have experienced are one break-in each to my car and my husband's car. (One break in was apparently motivated by a CD player from 1996 and the other by a SmartTrip card, both in plain site.) On the other side of the coin, as we look to buy our first home, we are considering the frequency and severity of crime in prospective neighborhoods. After all, a feeling of personal safety is a large part of one's quality of life, and property crimes are expensive.

7 comments:

khansgod01 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
khansgod01 said...

I was, however, surprised to discover that a rapist lives on my block especially since recidivism rates are high for sexual offenders.

Again, someone spouting BS when they dont research the FACTS!!!!!

Myths and Facts About Sex Offenders :

from:

http://www.csom.org/pubs/mythsfacts.html

Myth:
"Sexual offense rates are higher than ever and continue to climb."

Fact:
Despite the increase in publicity about sexual crimes, the actual rate of reported sexual assault has decreased slightly in recent years.

The rate of reported rape among women decreased by 10% from 1990 to 1995 (80 per 100,000 compared to 72 per 100,000) (Greenfeld, 1997). In 1995, 97,460 forcible rapes were reported to the police nationwide, representing the lowest number of reported rapes since 1989.

More recently, when examining slightly different measures, it appears that rates have continued to drop. The arrest rate for all sexual offenses (including forcible rape and excluding prostitution) dropped 16% between 1993 and 1998. In 1998, 82,653 arrests were logged for all sexual offenses, compared to 97,955 arrests in 1993 (Federal Bureau of Investigations, 1997 and 1998).

******************************************

I dont condone this type of action what so ever!! But if your going to say something, tell the truth!!

Chris L said...

In regards to crime, I find the comparison between Shaw an Logan Circle to be interesting. Logan certainly feels safer, but if you look at the crime stats, you see that there is much more crime there than in Shaw. This highlights the difference between safety and perceived safety. I'd feel much safer walking down 14th street at night rather than 9th (bright lights, more people, commercial enterprises, etc), but the reality is that I have a greater chance of being mugged on 14th.

Weird, eh?

14th & You said...

You did bring up a document that I had not seen. And you have some valid points. I do ask, however, that you keep it civil; no need to call my writing BS or to scream in all caps. It's totally fair to criticize and bring new facts to light though.

I'm certainly not trying to lie, which is defined as a conscious and deliberate misstatement of fact, so I do not appreciate your request that I "tell the truth." Please check your own facts by reading carefully and using a dictionary before accusing someone of a "lie."

I did not claim that sexual offense rates were climbing or that sex offenders have the highest recidivism rates of all crimes. I did say that the rates of recidivism are high. A 2002 Bureau of Justice Statistics study of 1994 recidivism rates does point out that rapists have a lower rearrest and re conviction rate than those who commit thefts and burglaries. However, within three years of being released from prison, 46% of rapists are rearrested, and about 41% of those released from prison for other violent sex crimes are rearrested within three years.

http://www.cor.state.pa.us/stats/
lib/stats/BJS%20Recidivism%20Study.
pdf

To be clear those stats are for any crime, not just sexual crimes. The document you reference provides a stat that says that only 19% of rapists will be re convicted of rape within five years of their release from prison. I'm still not thrilled by the idea of living near someone who has a 4 in 10 chance of being caught committing a crime and a 1 in 5 chance of being re-arrested for rape. Actually, I don't like the idea of living near anyone with a history of violent crime, but the way privacy and reporting rules work, I can only easily track sex offenders.

I will also say that no one government organization tracks recidivism rates, that statistical and data collection methods may differ, and that statistics rely on accurate crime reporting. Both the document you referenced and the one I referenced could be inaccurate. It would take a complex lit. review to get a clearer picture.

For goodness sakes, this is a blog -- primarily a vehicle for opinion and discussion. I do try to check my facts, and I do slip up sometimes, but I hope no one is using this venue as a news source or an unassailable source of data.
I will admit that I may not have provided supporting information to your satisfaction and I may judge risk differently than you.

Part of my post also was to ask if these statistics matter to folks living here in Logan Circle. I am legitimately interested in whether people care or change their behavior. I'm also trying to be honest about my own reaction.

Mr. 14th & You said...

Looks like Khansgod got his CAPS LOCK and !!! keys jammed up when typing that post.

Play nice or we'll put you in the timeout box. I've heard recidivism rates are pretty high for that, too.

Mari said...

Heck I was going to get on your case about Logan being a part of Shaw (historically), but you are the ruler of this blog. Khansgod01 is out of line though.

14th & You said...

Haha. Maybe I am taking myself too seriously. Good point about Shaw. Logan truly was just a tiny slice of it that's been defined separately in recent times. Perhaps the nomenclature is owing to real estate agents?