Rape Figures Spike In 108th – QNS.com

Rape Figures Spike In 108th

Melissa McGuire always walks in her Long Island City neighborhood alone. She definitely isn’t afraid to take a stroll at night.
The 27-year-old who moved to the area because of its quick commute to Manhattan and its allusive nightlife says that she feels safe there.
But recent crime statistics tell another story. The precinct where McGuire feels at ease has had a 200 percent increase in rape-related crimes so far this year.
As of late August, crime statistics for the 108th showed 18 reported rape cases this year – up from only six at this time last year and a staggering 157 percent surge since 1993.
According to police sources, though, residents in the area should not be overly alarmed by the numbers. Of the crimes reported, only three were strange rapes, meaning the attacker was unknown to the victim. The other 15 incidents were perpetrated by people who knew their victim personally.
NYPD authorities stated that there is enough police patrol and surveillance in the area to keep strange rape assaults at bay. They cannot, however, keep an eye on the brutal offenses that occur in the confines of someone’s home.
But that doesn’t make everyone feel better.
“No one should have to walk in their neighborhood in fear,” said Leslie Franco, a 34-year-old sales associate who resides in the area. “It takes away the stability and comfort of home.”
Robert Mandel, a 25-year-old future law student, remembers when his mother would tell him at a young age to be careful when walking in the streets. Now he reminds his mother to be home before dusk everyday. “She likes to keep active and run ‘errands’ all day long. I tell her as long as she makes it home in one piece.”
Some residents simply take extra notice when they walk down what they believe to be a safe street. And others do what they can to assure their safety in their own home.
“That’s why you have to be mindful of the company you keep,” McGuire said.
Joseph Caceres is a freelance writer.

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