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Crime Report From Ground Zero

I haven’t been commenting on  crime stories about Frankford in the media since you can read them elsewhere and I don’t have much to add to them.  The Inquirer on Sunday had a front page story (Walking the walk to cut city’s crime) about the new crime fighting strategies that have reduced crime in the city and specifically in Frankford.  We have previously noted that improvement and applauded the police for their fine work.

I am commenting now though because that story might create the impression that the only thing we have going on in Frankford is crime.  Frankford is a big place with over 30,000 people living here and going about their business peacefully every day.  The story made the point that a six square block area of Frankford “bordered by Frankford Avenue and Arrott, Leiper, and Harrison Streets, is one of 60 hot spots identified in a Temple University study as the city’s highest-volume crime areas.”

Coincidentally I live in that area and the view from here is not all that bad.  One of the points made in this story is that crime is a very local thing.

Ramsey set up foot patrols in 2008 in the city’s five busiest police districts, using officers fresh out of the Police Academy. Police soon noticed a drop in shootings, Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross said.

“We believed adding foot patrols was going to be effective,” Ross said, “but we wanted to measure how effective.”

That led to the partnership with Temple’s Jerry Ratcliffe, a criminology professor who conducted the study on Philadelphia’s most violent street corners.

Ratcliffe and his colleagues analyzed and mapped crime data for 2006, 2007, and 2008, revealing clusters of crime within just a few blocks. Most shooting victims are shot within a few blocks of their homes, Ratcliffe found, and he noted that violence often bred more violence, presumably in the form of retaliation.

“Philadelphia’s got really small neighborhoods, and I think many people’s lives revolve around a few streets,” Ratcliffe said. “When something happens, everyone knows about it, and you can’t let people in that neighborhood know you let something slide.”

This implies that the criminals among us live in a small area and do their business there.  That kind of makes sense and explains why I live in this crime hot spot and see little of it on my block.

Now what I would like to see is a study by Temple University to explain what brought these criminals to live in this neighborhood in the first place.  Would anybody like to venture a guess.

Walking the walk to cut city’s crime

4 thoughts on “Crime Report From Ground Zero

  1. “Now what I would like to see is a study by Temple University to explain what brought these criminals to live in this neighborhood in the first place. Would anybody like to venture a guess”

    I agree with the above statement 100%. There are some people, living and working toward a better Frankford, who think it’s wrong to acknowledge the crime problem in Frankford. They think it’s not “positive thinking”. Positive thinking does not mean you put your head in the sand and pretend the problem does not exists. Positive thinking is dealing with facts and in this case, as you stated, finding out the cause. I would like to know when the 6 block area in Frankford became the highest crime area and what caused this to happened.

  2. I wonder if they do “live” here. In other words, do family or friends rent an apartment and the criminals just use the space. It’s so easy to rent here. We have an epidemic of absentee landlords who don’t bother to screen cause – hey – what do they care! Last week a guy from New York tried to convince the Frankford Civic to help him get zoning to change his two family property into a three family property. Well, I don’t think so. I have also been present when the civic threw out representatives from New York landlords. So, based on my observation, one of our big problems is the people who own the property.

  3. In the 6 block area that the Inquirer mentioned there are some large apartment buildings. One on Arrott St across from the NFCY and the apartment complex right next to the NFCY, the Foulkrod Apartments at Foulkrod & Leiper Sts. and the Carver Hall Apts. at Harrison & Oxford Aves. I wonder if the problems are coming from these large apartment complexes.

  4. I live in that area some of my cop friends call it the bermuda triangle. The el is a big factor because you can carry drugs areound without the worry of having your car live stopped. The area could really use the national guard to come in and back up the police. I wish our State rep would help with that one but it won’t happen. Allot of the problems with rif raf were caused by FGM when they were around helping people move into places they couldn’t afford. Also when the state hospital closed down alot of the former patients moved here due to the cheap rents when Frankford first started getting bad in the 80’s and residents had to move out they were taking anything to rent their homes and get the heck out of here. Then the Frankford el reconstruction project and the margaret and orthodox el stop replacement project started. The disruption and closings on the Ave brought the business occupancy rate down to 12%, closed businesses lost jobs caused more flight. The project was only supposed to take two years but it took 12 years with disasterous results. The nail on the coffin was political infighting, corrtuption and incompetance accompanied by civic groups incompetance and bickering. The absentee landlord is a very small part in Frankford’s demise. Mayor wrong way Street refused to allow the blight bill to pass which would keep owners of blighted properties not allowed to get new permits in the city for business or building until they pay off there fines, taxes etc. Probably because he had back taxes and utilities at the time and so did his crazy brother from New Jersey Milton. Maybe that would have helped but probably not because they don’t have any city agency with the level of integrity and competance that would require to administer.

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