activities other than skateboarding are a crime

activities other than skateboarding are a crime

Lessons from reading ten thousand police reports

• The vast majority of calls are about nonviolent issues and do not end in an arrest or really anything.

• Surprisingly common crime: scrap metal theft.

• Surprisingly uncommon crime: violence between strangers.  This isn’t an actual statistic, but based on what I’ve seen, I’d say there’s about a hundred domestic violence calls (including quite a lot of parent/child, sibling, and roommate violence; it’s not just romantic partners) for every one attack by a stranger.

• Burglar alarms are useless.  Every police department gets dozens of false-alarm calls a day and I didn’t see one that turned out to be an actual burglar.

• Life-Alert-type systems are not useless.  The scenario of “elderly person falls and can’t get to a phone” is extremely common, and whether they have a Life Alert makes a huge difference in how long it takes them to get help.
• A depressingly large number of people will call in “suspicious person” if they see anyone who looks Middle Eastern (or in some neighborhoods, anyone who isn’t white) just walking around.
• A delightfully large number of people are honest enough to take found cash or jewelry to the police station.
• I’m starting to believe in ghosts.