Viewpoints

A word of caution

Recent weeks have seen a marked increase in daylight crime in Chicago. More and more robberies in Hyde Park are bucking the widely held ducat that the sun means safety.

To wit, now is a very good time to urge every resident of Hyde Park to be mindful of the risks of urban living. In one fashion or another, most people go through the motions of daily life with the perception that robberies and other crimes only happen to other people. With the incidence of robberies in Hyde Park apparently on the rise, the Maroon cautions you to keep in mind that you are “other people” to everyone but yourself.

To first-years in particular, take a few minutes to ponder what’s safe and what isn’t. Don’t walk around late at night alone. Don’t walk down Cottage Grove checking the watermarks on your $20 bills or examining that really cool hologram on your Citibank card. The moral of the story is to be safe.

Needless to say, a violent crime is a traumatizing event, and it is difficult to have a clear sense of what one ought to do in the moments following the incident. But by remembering to do a few things in the immediate aftermath, you could be helping yourself a great deal. First of all, even if the perpetrator makes a clean getaway, find a security phone and report the crime. The police are good at their jobs, but if you go home and go to bed before reporting a mugging, the chances of them making an arrest are much smaller than they could be. If they do catch the criminal, realize that you must file a complaint if you want them to be prosecuted, and that you must show up in court if you want them to be convicted.

Of course, all of this is not to say that you should live in fear and never leave the dorm except for class and food. At no point should you feel that the potential benefits of going outside are overwhelmed by the likelihood that you will be mugged. But living in a neighborhood like Hyde Park requires that one strike a careful balance between independence and safety.