Reader opinions: Crime in the city

In our last issue, Town & Village asked readers if thoughts of crime in this city affect their daily routines. We also asked, “Do you avoid certain streets or going out at certain times?”

Here are a few responses:

Martha Wolberg says, “I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 40 years. I have never felt safer. When I moved here, it was quite dangerous. Now, I can come home at 2 or 3 in the morning and there is no problem. I live on 14th Street between Second and First Avenues. All the bars in the neighborhood make it very safe – there are always people hanging out late at night.”

Kay Vota says, “It is always wise to be cautious. Once I was being followed in subway facility and I led guy straight to a cop! Once I was followed on the streets of NYC and I ducked into a building with a doorman and told him I was being followed. Once I started out of my garage back door and a giant man was on the steps and I slammed the door, called Public Safety and an officer arrived in a matter of minutes. I do not answer phone calls that I do not recognize the number. A lot of seniors live in our community and we are harassed by spoofing (an official phone number that is faked by some techie device) pretending to be the IRS with threats about being arrested if we don’t call right back. Stuy Town Public Safety when under William McClellan offered a course to tenants, teaching ways of protecting oneself when attacked. The same people taught us that taught Public Safety officers. I thought it was very valuable. Finally, if someone comes to your door claiming to be some kind of inspector, do not open your door. Tell them you will call public safety to escort them in to your home. Also, if you have home aids, be sure to have a closet key to lock valuables so there will be no temptation for anyone to steal what is too easily accessible. Better safe than sorry! And another thing, always trust but verify.”

Retired restaurateur Henry Beck had this to say. “I’m not a defenseless person. In Stuyvesant Town, crime is a relatively random event. I grew up in Manhattan and I used to travel to Brooklyn to go to high school in a pretty terrible area. As a young kid I used to travel to Yankee Stadium by myself and in college I had a job in the South Bronx in a refrigerated warehouse where I worked the graveyard shift. If I see someone doing to someone to someone else I will go after them. One day on the First Avenue bus going uptown I saw a man bumping into everybody. I said if he doesn’t stop I’m going to tell him something. Then at Bellevue, he got out and some guy said, ‘Someone stole my wallet!’ I saw him try to get into a cab so I got in front of the cab and said, ‘He stole someone’s wallet.’ He said, ‘Here it is.’ My wife said I’m crazy. I’m not a typical milquetoast.”

2 thoughts on “Reader opinions: Crime in the city

  1. I’ve lived here my whole life. 14th Street from 5th Avenue to the west side had always been sketchy… now its so much worse. There is crime mostly in the area. It is not safe to walk on the streets of my city anymore for fear of being attacked by a mentally, deranged homeless person or a “troubled teen” that they just put a new home for them on 1st Avenue in the teens. thanks Mayor DeBlassio for making our streets safe. We’re back to the 70’s where the city was full of crime, the streets were filthy and smelled of urine where it is now allowed to urinate between cars. Thanks again DeBlassio.

  2. Is the first woman referring to the same 14th Street between 1st and 2nd that I no longer go anywhere near?? 14th Street is not safe during the daytime, let alone at night, and I know three people in the last two months who have been robbed and or attacked on 14th between 1st and 2nd.

    This city is not what it was under Guiliani and Bloomberg in terms of overall safeness, and way too many people believe these low crime stats and let their guards down and ultimately pay the price. Sure crime stats are down, but that’s because a lot of things are not being reported and recorded.

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