By writing a lighthearted piece about fighting crime in her neighborhood, Pamela Hill Nettleton and the Southwest Journal squandered an important opportunity to inform and demonstrate effective ways for Southwest residents to increase their personal safety and protect their property.
I am a Southwest resident, a martial arts instructor with over 20 years experience and a lecturer in personal safety. Every week, I see multiple instances of area crimes in the Southwest Journal crime report that could have been prevented with a little forethought and common sense. In the same issue in which Nettleton’s piece appeared, the report listed three incidents that could have been prevented if the victims had had sense enough to simply remove valuables from view in their parked cars. Another near-weekly example is the home theft in which the criminal entered the house through an unlocked front door or wide-open window. These types of crimes are preventable!
Nettleton’s op-ed didn’t give readers sound advice and suggestions like lock your front door, install locks on your windows, and don’t leave valuables in your vehicle in plain sight of opportunistic thieves. Instead, she chose to be cute and funny, as well as inaccurate. These comments may bring a chuckle to the lips of unaffected Southwest residents, but I’d wager that the next victim who has their laptop or GPS stolen from their car would have appreciated a reminder from the Journal to either take the device with them, or place it in the trunk before leaving their vehicle parked overnight on a city street.