Hey all. Just thought I'd throw the 7/3 numbers up against the 6/26 numbers for comparison. Neighbors concerned about crime called a meeting for this Thursday, through local community action group PLGNA. More info on the PLGNA site.
It's probably important to remember that not all crimes get reported. That's why the historical perspective is so important in determining trends. We had a block association meeting on Clarkson the other night, and it was clear that many longtime residents still harbor fears and suspicions about the cops. They certainly don't want their names used when reporting crimes - many believe that even though the cops SAY calls are anonymous, they don't believe it.
On the other side, the cops are always saying at Community Council meetings and elsewhere that they desperately NEED such complaints to take specific actions. In talking with our Community Board District Manager Pearl Milers yesterday, it became clear that there are many things we can do to help the police AND there are many things we can do to help ourselves. Better lighting (she stressed that WE can make a difference in this regard by installing and keeping outdoor lights lit, as well as lobbying the City THRU the CB). Block associations and crime watches make a difference, plus they create stronger bonds in the community and make the "knuckleheads" stand out more. Folks MUST call the precinct IMMEDIATELY when they see trouble - don't wait for someone else to do it - in fact, multiple complaints will get the problem addressed even sooner. Local "hot spots" need to be ratted out every time something goes down. And the cops need specific tips - who said what, who was wearing what when the "deal" went down, what was said by whom. As you can imagine, a simple walk-in by the cops is not always effective. They need to catch people "in the act" or with drugs or guns ON their person. And they need our help, because a complaint from the community gives "probably cause" and a reason to risk harassing or frisking the wrong guy. Cops stress getting in the habit of noting particulars about people's appearance - clothing, glasses, big nose, height, shoes - a simple description of race and gender is often too broad to be of use.
The Q's suggestions: Eyes and ears open; get specifics; block associations; reporting suspicious activity; noting who belongs and doesn't belong on your street; attending CC meetings the third Thursday of every month; getting to know your community affairs and local beat cops; better lighting; keeping doors and rooftops secure; and to help avoid being a victim, please don't walk around oblivious! I see people all the time lost in the daze of their iPads or cell phones. Folks, you're a sitting duck when you're in that state, and muggers take notice of you. I saw someone snatch an iPhone just the other day and run like a pro-trackster down the street. Before the young lass could realize what happened, he was gone. This is NOT her fault of course. But if I were a criminal looking to score a quick $100 with a cell phone, she was definitely a prime target. And by the way, if you think such a mugging is special to our neighborhood, it's not. Numbers of such crimes went up all over the City when the latest expensive gadgets became commonplace. For a mugger, it's like you're holding cash in your hands while distracted!
I got a couple emails asking me for my take on the upcoming meeting. Frankly, I think any excuse to get neighbors together to talk is a good one. I hope the meeting is constructive, and that local leaders and precinct reps have been formally invited. They need to be part of any solutions, and aware of our concerns. See you there!
Oh yeah. The numbers:
The Q at Parkside
News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.