Interesting article. They seem to really drill down to the weeds by pointing out particular towns/cities/areas and not the entire state. In Boston's case...they're dead on. I had a car stolen in Dorchester years ago and it was recovered in Roxbury. Those areas only got worse from there. When I return to the Boston area, I wouldn't go near any of those places at any time...period. I have no problem with areas of 'concern' or 'danger' being pointed out for all to see.
Quite frankly, if those areas don't want to be singled out (and rest assured, there is some 'event' that made that 'concern' rise)....then those in charge should clean them up! Then, after you do, advertise the steps taken to make it 'visitor friendly'!
Of course I looked at the largest city near us and it's Houston....."be vigilant" in those areas of town mentioned in the article, but those are not the only areas of town to avoid or be cautious. In most cities, states and countries on the globe I would travel, it seems to my simple mind if we are all vigilant most crimes can be avoided.
Very true. Most crimes are "crimes of opportunity." People wander into an area (driving or walking) where they stand out, especially after dark. "Smash and grab" crimes are when folks leave things in their vehicles (laptops, GPSs, pocketbooks, or anything that looks like it's worth something. The bad guys cruise large parking lots (like hotels, supermarkets, shopping plazas) for these "opportunities." As you suggest being vigilant is the key, even in familiar locations.
Some good thoughts everyone. Ideally the solution would be to remove safety problems, but that's perhaps a bit too idealistic. From a marketing perspective, if I was involved with the economic development or chamber of commerce of these areas I would interact with the reports and A) inform of any improvements and at least, B) correct any misinformation. This no doubt certainly impacts their local economy. What caught my eye was Richmond, Va. - avoid walking. I often walk around the various sections (Shockoe, Carytown, the Fan, downtown, etc) and don't have any problems, the warning raises a concern, however slight, (and I know the area, so imagine out of towners).
Granted, vigilance by the traveler is a sound strategy, and there are areas (no doubt in most cities) that are in flux with entertainment districts encroaching rundown neighborhoods, and of course, other areas that deserve a distinct warning, but if I'm promoting the city, I would certainly want to overcome a blanket 'Somalia/Yemen' type rating.
The Rio Grande River area is unsafe for water sports and is unpublicized the last time I knew. There are also areas all along the Mexican - US border that are unsafe, all due to drug cartels. The I-35 corridor is a drug cartel operative area. I'd also be aware of I-10 along the southern border, I-95 on the east coast and I-5 in CA.
Crimes of opportunity are sometimes aimed at the compassion of people. If you see someone in trouble in a desolate area, call 911 and don't stop when nobody else is around.
If flyers are on your windshield so you can barely see, try using the wipers to get it off, but don't get out to remove it until you're absolutely sure you're in a safe area and away from that area.
Be aware of vans parked near your car that don't have windows and have sliding doors or where people are just sitting in cars. Have keys in hand and ready to use so you don't have to dig around for them without being able to see what's going on around you.
Cell phones decrease awareness. Make sure nobody is around when using them.
Most of these have to do with the vigilance recommended by erc so be aware that distractions are taking away from our vigilance.
Vigilance is also being aware of signs of extra precaution in the area like bars on windows and doors, security signs in abundance, and like a bank near us having a green extension on the card mechanism so that clips can't be inserted to capture your card.
The only reason this was ever mentioned is that people need to be aware of what's going on, but not typecast.
The real news for inquiring minds who want to know, Canadians aren't picked on any more than anyone else in Miami. Anyone with a rental car sticker or out of state plates is doubly at risk there.
My husband worked in Homestead, FL for a little more than a year so we were heavily warned when we visited him in his apartment.
A German couple had just been gunned down in a gas station while he was there. I think it was a BP station and they had gone inside.
Mmmm … this article takes me back to a incident in Miami a few years ago. We decided to visit Coral Gables and Coconut Grove … both of which were shown as 'places of interest' in our guide book. Unfortunately, we hadn't consulted with anyone before we ventured out. Being used to walking around London, we assumed that we could walk between the two destinations as it didn't seem far on the map.
It wasn't long before the boarded up windows and run-down houses together with a number of youngsters following us on cycles began to worry us. We then heard a voice behind us asking where we thought we were going. Trouble? … we thought. Fortunately, it was a Police Officer. When we told him what we were doing, he asked us who told us we could do the walk. We confessed that we just assumed it was ok. The conversation then went along the lines of … "Where are you from?" "The UK" … we replied. "This ain't the UK. If I hadn't been sat there in my patrol car, you would have been mugged by now."
This brought us a certain dimension of reality. He then told us to walk to the next lights and hang a left and then walk through the next two sets and we would be safe. He followed us in the patrol car. Quite a sobering experience … we are much more cautious now. Thank G for that police Officer!
Ive been in several of those cities and neighborhoods. I wouldn't put Santa Monica on that list. It has some bad parts, but it is a nice city overall for hotels and restaurants (as well as a lot of nice walking areas).
Ive never been to Richmond, but it did remind me of the one time I stayed at a Courtyard in Richmond, CA. A lot of online reviews say to not stay there because Richmond, CA is apparently one of the most dangerous cities in America, but that Courtyard seems to be located in a safe, suburban-esque area.