Every once in a while, my school sends out security alerts about crimes that happened near campus. There were recently a few robberies in Hyde Park, which were naturally the subject of the newest alert. One acquaintance’s response to the news was, in mock-dramatic fashion, “Is no bookbag safe??”
Crime isn’t really funny (after all, nobody wants to get mugged), but I’m never quite sure how to respond to the alerts. We get a lot of advice about how to stay safe, but they aren’t a great guarantee of anything.
For instance, we are advised not to be out too late. We’ll get alerts about crimes occurring at 4 or 5 a.m., and the lesson is supposedly that we should not be wandering outside at 4 or 5 a.m. The most recent robberies, though, occurred at around midnight. There are plenty of reasons to be out at that time. You could be getting back from a trip from outside Hyde Park, you could be returning from the library, you might be heading to or from a party, or you could be getting something to eat. Most of what I’m saying applies to students and non-students alike (except perhaps the part about the library).
We’re also advised not to be outside alone late at night. Again, it’s worth pointing out that one of the recent robberies involved a pair of students who got their phones stolen. Traveling in large hordes might be safer, but probably also far more impractical.
So, what do we do? Presumably, we get the alerts because we’re supposed to respond to them in some way. I’m just not sure how.
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