As a police officer in North Carolina, Aidan Cassidy is highly concerned with public safety. He explains that all individuals, regardless of their gender, should be aware of crime rates in cities they live in and travel to, and should respond accordingly. Here, he shares some of the country’s most dangerous cities and highlights tips for staying safe.
The city has fallen into deep financial trouble since General Motors closed down a number of plants there. As a result, violent crime rates have risen. In 2011, The New York Times magazine dubbed Flint “Murdertown, USA” since homicide numbers had become dramatic.
Much like Flint, Detroit has fallen on hard times because of the decline of the auto industry there. The city currently has a murder rate of 55 homicides per 100,000 people, 62 rapes per 100,000 people, and 685 robberies per 100,000 people.
Violence rates in this city have been alarming as a result of drastic cutbacks to the area’s police force. In fact, reports have stated that some residents feel as though they are living in a war zone.
Bridgeport is the most populated city in Connecticut, and went through a rash of gun violence issues in 2012. In fact, the problem was so persistent that the city put a curfew into place in an attempt to curb the violence. Aidan Cassidy explains that the area also has a high rate of rapes.
New Orleans, Louisiana
While the city has always struggled with violence, these problems became even more prevalent after Hurricane Katrina hit and wreaked havoc on the city.
After three young women were finally found and released after being held captive in a man’s home for 10 years, citizens in Cleveland began to question the effectiveness of the police department in their town.
St. Louis, Missouri
The city has a high crime rate in part because it is more compact than other cities of its size. The area has a murder rate of 35 murders per 100,000 people and 588 robberies per 100,000 people.
A person should make it a point to get educated about crime rates in their area. It is easy to get lulled into a false sense of security, Aidan Cassidy notes, which can put a person at risk of being the victim of a crime.
Aidan Cassidy Offers Tips for Staying Safe
Aidan Cassidy explains that all individuals should learn basic safety tips, regardless of the size of the city in which they live. These tips can truly mean the difference between life and death, and should be taken seriously. Some of his top tips include:
Never chat on the phone while heading out to the car in a dark parking lot
Criminals look for people who are distracted, making cell phone talkers a prime target. Regardless of how much a person thinks they are paying attention, it is hard to focus fully on a conversation and monitor a parking lot at the same time. When heading out to a parked car, particularly at night, put the cell phone down and focus solely on getting to the car safely.
Once that individual has placed their bags into the car and gotten settled, it is important to lock the doors and drive away. Many people sit and text, make lists, or check email in their car alone at night in a parking lot. This makes it very easy for a criminal to approach the vehicle and try to take control of it. Instead, drive away immediately and wait to tend to other matters from the safety of home.
Head out in groups
Never walk through dark city streets alone, particularly when it is necessary to enter a parking garage. There is truth to the old adage about safety in numbers. Bring along a friend or two and head home together.
Remain aware of surroundings
Regardless how safe an area may seem, awareness is a key component of staying safe. People who are oblivious to what is around them are able to get caught off guard, giving a criminal the advantage of the element of surprise. Whether a person is walking to their car form the grocery store or heading into their local shopping mall, it is important to remain aware of who and what is going on around them. This makes it harder for a criminal to catch them off guard.
Meet new people in public places
With the rise of online dating, awareness about safety has become even more crucial. Regardless of how normal and sweet a person seems, it is always important to meet new dates in a public place. Let someone know where the meeting will take place, and update them when you arrive. Never go to someone’s home or office before getting to know them well, police officer Aidan Cassidy strongly advises.