Baltimore Crime Fears High As Reports Drop


Baltimore crime reports are down 9 percent this year, but people are being attacked in and around downtown, and five people have been killed this week, including a man shot near the Baltimore Orioles stadium shortly after the bars and clubs had closed. Police measure crime numbers, but they don’t measure fear, and there is a disconnect between what the statistics show and how people feel, says the Baltimore Sun’s Peter Hermann.

This disconnect, says crime expert Sheldon F. Greenberg, is a direct result of law enforcement relying too much on statistics – which he calls the “political reality of policing” – while shrugging off ways of making people feel more comfortable. Greenberg, associate dean of the Johns Hopkins Division of Public Safety Leadership and a former police officer, notes that fear is difficult to measure but crucial to combat if city leaders want to match their statistical gains with people’s perceptions. “Victimization is very personal,” Greenberg said. “Managing fear is as important as managing the crime itself.”

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