Friday, December 19, 2008

Unequal Protection

The News and Record reports this morning that the GPD has stepped up patrols at "shopping centers across the city" in order to make people feel safer during the Christmas shopping season. Here's the N&R's map showing the affected shopping centers:

I'm sure people who shop at those centers appreciate the effort. But there's something missing -- literally -- from the map. That story should read, "across the city (if you don't count anything east of Church St. as part of the city)."

Here are some facts about crimes and arrests over the past month in three of the shopping areas that will receive extra police protection.*

The quaint and charming State Street district, tucked at the edge of Irving Park, Greensboro's wealthiest neighborhood, reported one arrest and no other crime incidents.

Shoppers on State St. near Irving Park.

The spanking-new Jefferson Village area, which recently sprang up in the fast-growth New Garden Road area, reported five arrests and 16 crime incidents, the most serious of which were four shoplifting incidents, one burglary, one larceny, and one forged check.

Shoppers at Michael's at Jefferson Village.

The Lawndale Crossing area reported significantly more crime: nine arrests and 38 crime incidents, including seven incidents of shoplifting, four larcenies, two burglaries, one robbery, and one auto theft.

But Pyramids Village, located at the intersection of E. Cone Boulevard and I-29, which is receiving no increased police presence, reported 19 arrests and 48 crime incidents, including four burglaries, five larcenies, two incidents of fraud, one bank robbery, and one robbery of an individual.

Walmart shoppers at Pyramids Village.

In short, a higher-crime shopping center on the poorer side of Greensboro gets no increased patrols, while lower-crime retailers in wealthier neighborhoods receive the lion's share of scarce police resources.

This makes me mad as hell.

*I collected the information using the GPD's P2C website, setting the crime radius at .5 mi except for State St., which is small; the .5 mi radius would have included Golden Gate shopping center and distorted the data.


Dave Ribar said...

Great post. Thanks also for the link to the incident, accident, arrest geographic tool--neat beans.

Anonymous said...

Huh...yeah, doesn't surprise me. That's my WalMart! Less than 10 minutes from my house, and I'm there often.

A few weeks ago we were at the Lowes across the street from Pyramids Village for a Cub Scout thing. We went to leave but were told that we could not leave...they weren't letting anyone in or out. What?! It seems there was a group of people wearing ski masks hanging out in the parking lot and they weren't letting anyone leave until the police got there. Interestingly, that never made the paper. Bet it would have if had had been at Friendly.

Billy Jones said...

Greensboro business as usual.

Inspector Clouseau said...

Way to make sense of things Mr. Wharton. Saw the link to your blog from Joe Guarino's blog and decided to make a visit. Nice catch.