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Is the US Safe? Tourists Robbed, Cities Ranked Least Safe, and Shootings on the Rise

  “No city in the United States is safe.”
  This is Xiao He’s impression of this country after living in Detroit, the largest city in Michigan, for two years. In March this year, a Reddit poll involving 8,900 people showed that only 28.5% of Americans believed that the United States was not a safe place to settle; but among foreigners, more than 64% believed that the United States was not a safe place to settle. Not safe.
  From frequent shootings to the proliferation of drugs to rampant theft gangs, the social order of the United States is being tested. Crime rates will be one of the key issues in the 2024 U.S. election, according to a review of crime data by The Times and a recent Gallup poll.
“You can walk out of San Francisco alive without a car’s glass.”

  ”Brother, I picked up your passport on the street. Call me.”
  When he received this email, Liu Bai thought it was a scam, but because he was a little worried, he immediately returned to the parking position – and sure enough, the car was stolen. It was smashed and the things were stolen, and less than an hour had passed since they entered the restaurant for dinner.
  In March this year, Liu Bai traveled to the western United States from Australia with two friends from Philadelphia. After meeting in Los Angeles, the three came to San Francisco. When they arrived, the Uber driver reminded them: “Don’t leave anything in the car, not even a charging cable.”
  Liu Bai rented a BMW X5 at the airport for about US$160 a day. He also purchased comprehensive insurance for $48 per day. The staff asked Liu Bai if he wanted to buy car property insurance. At that time, he “felt it was not necessary.”
  Before this, Liu Bai never thought that his car would be smashed, but he just felt that it was not safe. Therefore, they did not take the driver’s advice to heart. The next night, they parked their rental car on Pacific Avenue. There are buses running on the street, but there is no surveillance. When he got out of the car to eat, he left his backpack in the trunk.
  When Liu Bai rushed to the car, a big hole had been smashed into the rear windshield. Two MacBook Pro computers, an iPad Pro tablet, two pairs of Airpods headphones, two iPhones used for work, and a Gucci bag were all missing from the car. Liu Bai’s Australian driver’s license, passport, bank card and other documents were stolen by the thief and thrown on the street.
  Liu Bai immediately called 911, but the police said it would take an hour to arrive and suggested that he go directly to the nearest police station to report the crime. He contacted the passerby who had picked up the passports and got back three passports and some entry documents in his bag. Afterwards, he went to the nearest police station and took notes. “The female superintendent who received him was already used to it.” Liu Bai thought: “I will definitely not be able to get the items in my backpack back.”
  Netizens later commented that “You can walk out of San Francisco alive without a car’s glass”, which is like a curse in San Francisco. According to the “San Francisco Chronicle”, San Francisco is simply a “paradise” for car-breaking gangs. San Francisco has the second-highest car density among large cities in the United States, with nearly 10,000 cars per square mile. From 2012 to 2016, daytime commuters added more than 200,000 people to the city’s population each weekday, nearly half of whom arrived by car.
  Tourists who travel with luggage or buy luxury goods are also more likely to be targeted because they tend to leave their purchases in their rental cars. Liu Bai later recalled that the car he rented had an out-of-town license plate (not a local California license plate). “Thieves will assume that tourists with out-of-town license plates are more likely to put valuables in the car, so this kind of The probability of the car being smashed is also greater.”
  Since 2011, there has been a surge in carjacking cases in San Francisco. In 2017, police recorded more car break-ins than all other property crimes combined (break-ins, vehicle thefts and other thefts). The San Francisco Chronicle pointed out that the difficulty in catching criminals is one of the reasons for the high number of car breaking cases in the Bay Area. In 2011, the earliest year for which complete data are available, police arrested about 2% of criminal gangs involved in car-breaking reports, but today the proportion is less than 1%.
Liu Bai later recalled that the car he rented had an out-of-town license plate (not a local California license plate). “Thieves will assume that tourists with out-of-town license plates are more likely to put valuables in the car, so this kind of The probability of the car being smashed is also greater.”

  Car thefts are notoriously difficult for police to deal with, said Mike Sena, executive director of the Northern California Drug Trafficking Areas Program. It takes less than a minute for a trained person to break a car window, steal something and drive off. Thieves usually don’t leave fingerprints. They often change the license plates on getaway vehicles, and the license plates themselves may be stolen. Moreover, police do not treat car smashing and theft cases as a priority as violent crimes.
  When interviewed by a reporter from Nanfengchuang, nearly nine months had passed since Liu Bai called the police, and the police still had not given any investigation results.
What happened to the big cities?

  Liu Bai stayed in the United States for 25 days and visited many cities. In his impression, the public security in San Francisco is not very good. “The streets in the city are full of drug addicts camping out. There is an area in the center of San Francisco that is full of drug addicts. We all walk around it.” “Los Angeles in the western United States (the homicide rate in Los Angeles this year ranked fifth among the 16 cities surveyed by Gallup, but was rated as the third most dangerous city) is also very uneven; although New York is chaotic, There are a lot of police; the security in Washington, Boston, and the casinos is relatively good.”
  The Chinese may think that urban areas of developed big cities should be equipped with relatively complete security, but this is not the case in the United States.
  In 2022, the Wallethub website in the United States conducted a research and evaluation of 42 relevant safety measures in 182 major cities in the United States, including crime rates, natural disasters, unemployment, and homeless populations, and ranked the safety of these cities. . The results show that major cities such as Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas, Denver, Baltimore, Orlando, and Houston are all at the bottom. Washington, the capital of the United States, ranked 168th.
  Since January of this year, there have been an average of three carjackings per day in Washington, DC. According to US media reports, as of October 22, local time, the number of carjacking cases in the area has reached 806, more than double the number of cases in 2022 (387 cases). Police added that 127 arrests had been made in connection with carjackings this year, 64 per cent of which involved teenagers.
  On October 2 this year, Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar was robbed of his car by three armed boys in Washington, DC. In February of this year, Democratic Congresswoman Angie Craig was also attacked in her Washington apartment building—she was choked in an elevator.
  According to The Economist, the violent crime rate in Washington, D.C. has increased by 40% this year. Businesses have suffered so much from theft that some pharmacies have begun putting photos of products on their shelves instead of the products themselves.
  Other big cities aren’t much better.

  Since traveling to Detroit, the largest city in Michigan, in 2019, Xiao He has lived in this city for a total of about two years, and his impression of it is still “quite dangerous.”
  ”It’s okay during the day, but it’s best not to wander alone at night.” This is the consensus of Xiao He and many people who go to the United States.
  Xiaohe and her husband live in an apartment near Wayne State University. It is only about 5 minutes’ drive from the city center. It is not remote. However, Xiaohe heard that there have been many burglaries in the surrounding area. “The apartment over there is older and there is no security.” In
  November 2021, a thief broke into the apartment where Xiao He lived. At night, Xiao He heard the sound of the door being knocked open. “If the door lock was not strong, it would have been knocked open. Fortunately, they only hit it once and then randomly went to the next door.” Xiaohe didn’t know how to deal with this situation: “What if it gets knocked open, should I continue to pretend to be asleep?”
  At that time, there was no surveillance installed in the apartment. “It’s the same whether it’s safe or not, no one can be caught. My friend’s apartment was installed (surveilled), and then it was robbed. I called the police, but nothing happened.”
  Xiaohe often smells marijuana on the street. I heard that the apartment where she lives There have also been shootings near the apartment.
  Xiao He feels that the more downtown (prosperous) the place, the more chaotic it is because “the homeless are more concentrated.” Although there are many police officers in the city center, it is very busy, “especially at night.” “I don’t dare go out at night, there might be some drunks or something like that.”
Xiao He feels that the more downtown (prosperous) the place, the more chaotic it is because “the homeless are more concentrated.” Although there are many police officers in the city center, it is very busy, “especially at night.” “I don’t dare go out at night, there might be some drunks or something like that.”

  Xiaohe thinks: “It will be safer if you leave the city, such as in suburbs and scenic spots. Rich people live in the countryside, which is very safe.”
Even the “safest cities” are not safe

  In the United States, even those places that are advertised as the “safest cities” seem to have many problems.
  Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City in the United States, called New York “the safest city in the United States” when he released a year-end summary video at the end of 2022 – announcing that under his administration, New York City has maintained the title of “the safest big city in the United States” “The good name.
  However, these remarks attracted some scolding from netizens: “Stop talking nonsense, this city has become a paradise for crime.”
  Data released by Gallup in August this year showed that 57% of people think that New York Not safe.
  On the afternoon of November 6th, Eastern Time, NYU Alert issued an emergency alert, saying that a shooting had occurred at the school. It was recommended that everyone “run if you can, hide if you can’t run, and fight if you can’t hide.” ( ESCAPE if you can, HIDE if you can’t, FIGHT if you must).
  Although the alarm was quickly lifted, this scary and funny slogan was spread as a “meme” on the Internet. What is reflected behind this is actually people’s anxiety about the continuous shootings.
  The number of guns in the United States even exceeds the number of people in the country, causing gun violence to become one of the major crimes in the United States. Fueled by gun violence, murder rates in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago and other U.S. cities have climbed to their highest levels in more than a decade.
  According to a Gallup survey, among the 16 major cities in the United States, nearly three-quarters of American adults believe that Dallas (74%) and Boston (72%) are safe; more than half of Americans believe that Philadelphia, New York and Los Angeles are unsafe; only 26% and 27% think Detroit and Chicago are safe respectively.
  People living in mid-sized cities such as Henderson, Nevada, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, are not immune. The Major City Police Chiefs Association reported that rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults were increasing year over year in the Steel City of Pittsburgh as of mid-2023.
  The United States must be careful about slipping into a “criminal paradise” and American cities becoming symbols of national decline.