Perceptions of crime vary. They vary by neighborhood, by time of year, frequency, severity, one’s age, and how the media portrays it. Social media, too. And right now, the perception locally feels as if crime is on the rise in the neighborhood. Car break-ins, stolen bikes, missing mail and UPS packages—all urban problems—seems to be happening more and more.
But it isn’t. Rest assured, FoPo, crime is down in the neighborhood. In Mt. Scott-Arleta, too.
We are no strangers to scrap metal collectors, meth heads, squatters, bike thieves, and other scavenging lurkers wandering through our backyards and alleys. And social media sites like Nextdoor.com, as well as our increasing connectedness through closer community bonds, allows us to hear more of the stories; more of the incidents; more of the complaints; more of the fear.
Again, the perception is real. And being a victim sucks. It really sucks.
But crime is on the decline. Things are, indeed, getting better—not worse.
As per the Portland Police Bureau, from the time period between September 2013 and September 2014, Foster-Powell saw a 6% drop in Part 1 crimes (i.e. robbery, aggravated assault, theft from vehicle, burglary, etc) compared to the year prior. Part 2 crimes (i.e. sex crimes, drugs and vandalism) saw a 36% decrease. Mt. Scott-Arleta saw declines, too.
That’s significant. But you wouldn’t know it by what the news reports or social media indicates. And while car break-ins, stolen mail, and annoying druggies sludging through the neighborhood impact us in real and significant ways, it is not something that is happening more in the neighborhood. It’s happening less.
That’s the good news. The bad is that these unfortunate events still happen. They still impact the quality of life in the neighborhood. And we still have to be mindful of valuables in cars, where our bikes are locked up, etc. It’s a pain, but a lessening one.