High Crime Neighborhood Policing

I’ve been trying to figure out why the United States is full of all these “high crime islands” where policing is done in a totally different way than in “regular America.” These high crime islands can also be “food deserts” and African-American ghettos (in Fresno, these areas can also be Hmong and Mexican), with little exception, though it would be interesting to see food deserts, high crime areas, high arrest areas, and African American populations mapped out. The typical racist conclusion: it’s the fault of the African Americans. Wherever they cluster, crime is high, arrests are high.

But there is also something even more interesting about these places: the same places that are high crime, high arrest, food island, low income and African American are also unsolved violent crime areas. For all the people thrown in prison from these areas, oddly these areas are where the most unsolved murders and assaults are.

The first conclusion is, once again, is that is the fault of the African Americans, Asians and Latinos who join gangs who enforce the “no snitching” code, preventing the solving of crimes. But the fault actually lies with policing priorities. These areas are poor and cannot pay for quality policing with property tax. Police priority to crime solving is not with these areas. Calling the police is very risky, if they show up at all. They can become suddenly violent, or just be very unfriendly, even to the person who called them.

With so little crimes solved, that leaves the scariest people on the loose, always an ever-present threat to anyone who testifies against them. And police are not trusted because they simply do not care to find out who the real killers are in ghetto neighborhood crimes. This is the greatest driver of neighborhood silence against gang members. But there is a book out now that proves when they are determined, the police can crack cases in black on black and gang crimes, and in the process develop trust with law-abiding citizens in the ghetto.

Check out Jill Leovy’s book Ghettoside. See more about Ghettoside here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13153693-ghettoside

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