Petty crime seems to have dropped during the bus strike.
Don't expect the usual suspects to be happy about that, though.
After the metro area's first transit strike in a decade, the possible relationship between the strike and crime has become a much-debated -- and politically touchy -- issue. Critics complain that the focus unnecessarily paints an unflattering portrait of bus riders.Did the usual crowd of poverty pimps chime in?
Police contend that the figures, while showing drops in possible criminal activity, may have uncertain meaning and caution against hasty conclusions.
At the Mall of America, police said complaint calls dropped noticeably when comparing the weeks immediately before and during the strike. "Did we see a decrease in the 'regular' people we would see out here? I can say, yes, we did," said Sgt. Jeff Schwiesow, a Bloomington officer who commands a police patrol at the nation's largest shopping mall.
"We did some internal tracking. This question came up," he said. "The people that we've seen before, that usually [cause] some type of disturbance, but not enough to get arrested, weren't here."
Though crime statistics have many variables, and in Minneapolis must be judged against a general decrease in crime, police said there was a drop in crime that typically occurs near bus stops or is committed by petty criminals who tend to move about using the bus system.
What do you think?
Jon Pratt, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, also said such comparisons are unsettling. "I wouldn't say it's a disservice to draw those connections. [But] there is kind of a sport in picking on the poor and trying to point out their foibles," he said.How disgustingly patronizing.
"There was a lot of extreme generosity during the bus strike," he added.
Noting crime has nothing to do with "picking on the poor". Criminals, however, prey on the poor more than anyone; the poor are disproportionately victimized by criminals, in all parts of their lives as well as well as during the bus strike.
Read the whole thing. Note especially the public figures that are crab-walking away from this study.Posted by Mitch at April 30, 2004 06:50 AM