Friday question of the day

I read in the Post that crime traditionally spikes in July. Having lived here for a number of years, I do hear many more gunshots in July but I don’t necessarily think it impacts regular folk or let’s say “civilians”. But do get ready for a sweet fourth of July fireworks display. And I’m not talking down by the monument, I’m talking about on nearly every street corner in Petworth. It is going to be electric. But my Friday question of the week is: Are you concerned about rising crime rates in July? As a result will you be changing your normal routines at all i.e. walking around the neighborhood, walking back from the metro at night etc.? Or is it business as usual, crime rates be damned?

9 Comment

  • I’d like to hire PoP as my personal bodyguard for safety. Judging by that picture of your massive arm you must be at least 8 feet tall with tree trunks for legs. Those were’nt bite marks…probably just welts left after the bullets ricocheted off you.

  • Summertime in Petworth usually means outside time. You see people on the stoop, on the porch, in the yard or just on the corner. Most are just minding their own business and trying to beat the oppressive heat of their apartment.
    With more people outside, that means that you gotta be a little bit more cautious.

  • That’s interesting K. I actually view it the opposite way. There may be more overall crime in the summer, but with folks sitting out on their stoops and more people around in general I feel a lot safer, especially after dark. Nobody is going to rob you in front of grandma.

    On the other hand, in the winter when it is very cold and it gets dark before 6 PM I often feel unsafe walking home from the metro, even relatively early in the evening, because the streets are pretty much deserted.

  • I agree with anonymous that one of the best ways to deter crime is by having active, engaged, visible neighbors that are outside working on their yards, caring for their property etc. I think this visibility deters criminal elements who might otherwise be emboldened by the belief that their actions are going unnoticed when no one is outside or around.

  • Excuse me while I put on my grumpy old man hat — but damn are these kids shooting off fireworks a full month before the 4th annoying as hell. The little rugrats (they were all 13 maximum) were running up and down the alley the other night setting off fireworks, scaring the crap out of my dogs. They all need a grandma to come and grab them by the ear and lock ’em in their rooms.

    Give it 2 more weeks before the rampant fireworks, please.

    As for increased crime in the summer, I think it’s just a product of more people being outdoors with little to do (i.e. no school). Visibility and friendliness seems like a good deterrent to crime on my block. Increased car patrols by cops would be smart too.

  • Today was so hot waiting for a bus to get to an office where I had to fill out paperwork (not 941 — that was yesterday) that I too felt like committing a crime.

    I am excited for summer, yet I am nervous about crime and violence.

  • Having more eyes and ears on the streets can make for safer streets. That’s the way it was in my old neighborhood. When I first moved to Petworth, so many longtime residents told me they were afraid to walk around the neighborhood. Even they say things have improved considerably from years ago.

    A lot of people complain about the fireworks that people in Petworth LOVE. I suspect it’s a product of a lot of African Americans’ Southern roots. Plenty of my white friends who grew up in the South told me they grew up setting off fireworks on plenty of occasions throughout the year – including New Years. Don’t forget the Chinese gave us fireworks. So next time you feel like complaining about fireworks, why don’t you just shut up and order less Szechuan or Hunan carry-out. Maybe then we’ll see fewer fireworks in the Chinese-influenced fireworks culture in Petworth!

  • I just moved here 3 weeks ago, so my behavior changes on a daily basis because I can’t figure out if this is a really great neighborhood with 75% friendly regular people & 25% thug, or if I am deluding myself into thinking I am safe. So some days, I am on the positive side and I say hello to everyone while walking my dog, even after being called “biscuit” and being told to “move to PG county”. Other days, I am thinking holy moly why did I move here. So bottom line, I have nothing really to contribute other than a newbie experience. I do walk from the metro at night because I live right across the street, I generally don’t walk my dog after dark. I do use my security system all the time, and only sit on my back porch not my front porch.

    I should throw in a caveat that I moved here from Richmond city which has a pretty impressive crime rate as well but a decidedly different feel. I then spent 8 months in corporate housing in Penn Quarter and chose this area because I wanted the diversity and fewer tourists (haven’t seen many around here yet).

    Great blog by the way, very informative.

  • I don’t care if kids shoot off fireworks (as long as they don’t burn down the neighborhood). It’s preferable to the shooting off of pistols into the air that happens back in Texas on New Years, Xmas, 4th of July and Cinco de Mayo. Since this is my first year in DC I have not heard if Salvadorians >>heart<< a hail of gunfire as much as their Mexican brothers, I hope for the sake of hapless pedestrians they do not. About every other year some Houston kid on bicycle or a senior putting out the trash gets hit by a falling slug.

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