Crime sensation and real crime! opinion

lamarque

Active Member
I have seen a lot of post about it but I want more to discuss an article that I have read recently, i don't totally agree with what is been said in there but mostly I agree and I think that is happening a lot in this city and even in this forum.
I have seen people posting thinks that don't mach at all with the city I see or any of my friends does, or any of my friends and expats that don't use this forum see neither, just to clarify I have lived here for almost 8 years already and my friends to, some of them not so much and few of them are locals, they are the most paranoid mainly but still don't see the city as the hell people is posting lately, almost all of us live in the palermo, recoleta, belgrano and caballito so maybe that is why we feel safe in this city, when I read this forum not all but there are some comment that I feel as exaggerations (maybe they are not), anyway that why I would like to know what you think about this article, no need to read all of it with the first half will be enough for the topic.

http://www.argentinaindependent.com/currentaffairs/analysis/fear-and-loathing-in-buenos-aires/

Please don't start fights just be polite and give your honest opinion, try to be as objective as possible and respect the opinion of the other people. Thanks
 

nicoenarg

Veteran
Lamarque, having read other posts from you on this forum, I have a feeling this isn't going to be much of a debate.

Anyway, here's my take on the reported numbers related to crime. I have not lived in or extensively visited other major cities in South America so I can't speak for them but in Buenos Aires, the police department is as untrustworthy, either in perception or reality, as a guy wielding a knife threatening to kill you unless you give him all you got on you and even more. So its no wonder that reported crime is less than other countries mentioned in the article.

People here think that if you report crime then you must a) be out of your mind b) have your head up your ass c) love inviting trouble or d) all of the above. Now I'm married to an Argentine whose family (who otherwise sing praises of Argentina and voted for Cristina, which might be weird to some here since they live in Palermo and Recoleta...the so called RICH areas) say that the insecurity feels worse than 2001. Yes that's right, not like 2001 but worse than that. And again, this is perception. I go to a church that is largely Argentine whose pastor just yesterday gave a sermon on how insecure the city had become. Worse than he ever remembered it to be. Everyone at church, people who live in all different places of the city included ones mentioned by you and Almagro, agreed.

A lot of it has to do with perception. But perceptions change when every other person you know or meet has been a victim of some sort of crime. And especially when those crimes seem to be getting more and more violent every passing year.

You may think everyone here who says the crime is bad is just bloating the problem up to be something it isn't. Well, that is your perception. Just like that, others percieve, especially those that have lived through an experience related to crime, that the city is going down the drain when it comes to safety.
 

lamarque

Active Member
nicoenarg said:
Lamarque, having read other posts from you on this forum, I have a feeling this isn't going to be much of a debate.

Anyway, here's my take on the reported numbers related to crime. I have not lived in or extensively visited other major cities in South America so I can't speak for them but in Buenos Aires, the police department is as untrustworthy, either in perception or reality, as a guy wielding a knife threatening to kill you unless you give him all you got on you and even more. So its no wonder that reported crime is less than other countries mentioned in the article.

People here think that if you report crime then you must a) be out of your mind b) have your head up your ass c) love inviting trouble or d) all of the above. Now I'm married to an Argentine whose family (who otherwise sing praises of Argentina and voted for Cristina, which might be weird to some here since they live in Palermo and Recoleta...the so called RICH areas) say that the insecurity feels worse than 2001. Yes that's right, not like 2001 but worse than that. And again, this is perception. I go to a church that is largely Argentine whose pastor just yesterday gave a sermon on how insecure the city had become. Worse than he ever remembered it to be. Everyone at church, people who live in all different places of the city included ones mentioned by you and Almagro.

A lot of it has to do with perception. But perceptions change when every other person you know or meet has been a victim of some sort of crime. And especially when those crimes seem to be getting more and more violent every passing year.

You may think everyone here who says the crime is bad is just bloating the problem up to be something it isn't. Well, that is your perception. Just like that, others percieve, especially those that have lived through an experience related to crime, that the city is going down the drain when it comes to safety.
Good opinion, but then it make me wonder in normal crime is true i don't think people report that much, but i don't think people has ever report crimes that much anyway, but murder crimes don't depend on reports, doesn’t matter if someone report it or not, well i don't think anyone will not report a murder, but even if there is no murder report is still count as a murder for stadistics purpose, so murder numbers we can know that are accurate at least.
So why if the feeling is that crimes are getting more violent in the reality there are less murders? that is one of the things that make me wonder of this sensation. Don't mistake I feel that the crime is getting worst but then my only way to feel this is what i read in the newspaper as i haven't had problems yet so how can I say if this is perception or reality. Anyway is good to read your opinion put some light in some things for me, police here is really bad.
 

nicoenarg

Veteran
lamarque said:
Good opinion, but then it make me wonder in normal crime is true i don't think people report that much, but i don't think people has ever report crimes that much anyway, but murder crimes don't depend on reports, doesn’t matter if someone report it or not, well i don't think anyone will not report a murder, but even if there is no murder report is still count as a murder for stadistics purpose, so murder numbers we can know that are accurate at least.
So why if the feeling is that crimes are getting more violent in the reality there are less murders? that is one of the things that make me wonder of this sensation. Don't mistake I feel that the crime is getting worst but then my only way to feel this is what i read in the newspaper as i haven't had problems yet so how can I say if this is perception or reality. Anyway is good to read your opinion put some light in some things for me, police here is really bad.
Okay, most of the people who are worried about crime are not necessarily worried that the moment they step out the door someone will slash their throat and send them to whatever heaven they believe in. Most of the people are worried about getting robbed, especially at gun point. Which, in reality, happens to be a more damaging crime to the person that its committed against because if you're murdered, you know, you can't remember or do crap about it. But if you're held at gunpoint, then you are traumatized and have to live with that for the rest of your life.

Now I'm not belittling the seriousness of murders here. All I'm saying is, if you've been held at gunpoint, sometimes on multiple occassions, then that scars you. These are people that this never used to happen to before. They are not tourists, they are Argentines who don't flash their jewelry or iPhones in public. But they have been held at gunpoint because robbers are getting bolder by the month.

The perception that crime is getting bad has nothing to do with the statistics on murder. The perception that crime is getting bad has everything to do with having to experience being robbed and then knowing that it can happen again and again (especially when it has happened again and again).

As for whether the police here is bad or not. I can't comment on that. I have not personally had any experience, good or bad, with the police. But the perception of people is that the police here is, at times, worse than the robbers. I'm sure that perception too is based in reality one way or another.
 

citygirl

Registered
Well, my experience with the police here has been less than stellar.

Let's see:
Experience 1. Friend's car was stolen in front of my apt at the time (Libertador/Matienzo). Called police. They wouldn't even send someone to investigate, take a statement from the doorman who witnessed the entire thing and told us to get into a cab and come to the station if she wanted to fill out the paperwork. Laughed at me when I asked about recovering it. Did nothing except sign the report.

Experience 2. I had a motochorro try to snatch my purse/phone in the middle of the afternoon on Libertador and Maure. Police officer was standing one block away and more or less witnessed it. When I went to talk to him after, he told me it wasn't his job when I asked him about filing a report and told me if I wanted to report the crime, to take a cab to the station.

Experience 3. Someone was burning a stolen car outside of my house (pvca Buenos Aires). I called the police. Was on hold 20 minutes (again - thieves were there at that moment, burning the car). Finally talked to someone. They never bothered to send a patrol car. Burned out car sat for a few weeks, don't know what ever happened to it.

So yes, let's jsut say I wouldn't count on them for well..anything.

And I don't know of ANYONE who has been the victim of a crime who reports it. I can't blame them - I didn't at the end. Why go through the hassle when the police make it clear that they're not going to do anything about it and they won't even take a statement from you. Just tell you to go to the station and do it. Yes, because that's exactly what someone wants to do after having just been robbed.

(Oh and a friend was in a restaurant in Palermo the other day. A guy came in and robbed the patrons at gun point. When the police came after he left, they didn't bother to interview anyone who was there and told the restaurant owner that in the future, she really should lock the door. Umm.. thanks).

And yes, I do worry about insecurity. I have for several years. Not murder but robbery - absolutely. Assault - yes. Too many people I know have been victims of either muggings or been assaulted violently during a robbery (including home invasions). I also find a stolen car burned near my house at least once every few months, occasionally directly outside of the walls of the property. That's not exactly a comforting feeling.
 

sleslie23

Active Member
I lived in Oakland and San Francisco for 11 years and in that time I witnessed 3 shootings. 2 were random gang-related shootings and the other was when a drunk guy standing in the entrance to a bar pushed some kid walking down the street who turned around and shot him. Non of these had anything to do with a robbery. Beyond a few car breakins, I have never witnessed any other violent crime or robbery, nor have any of my friends been the victim of any violent crime or robbery.

In 5 years here, I have been robbed twice, I have seen 3 muggings. All of this in Palermo. Beyond that, EVERY SINGLE PERSON I know here has been the victim of some sort of robbery.

As I have always said since I first moved here, you are MUCH more likely to be robbed in Buenos Aires. You are MUCH more likely to be shot randomly on the street in the US.
 

nicoenarg

Veteran
sleslie23 said:
As I have always said since I first moved here, you are MUCH more likely to be robbed in Buenos Aires. You are MUCH more likely to be shot randomly on the street in the US.
I think I personally would take a random shooting over a targeted robbery any day of the week.
 

lamarque

Active Member
nicoenarg said:
Okay, most of the people who are worried about crime are not necessarily worried that the moment they step out the door someone will slash their throat and send them to whatever heaven they believe in. Most of the people are worried about getting robbed, especially at gun point. Which, in reality, happens to be a more damaging crime to the person that its committed against because if you're murdered, you know, you can't remember or do crap about it. But if you're held at gunpoint, then you are traumatized and have to live with that for the rest of your life.

Now I'm not belittling the seriousness of murders here. All I'm saying is, if you've been held at gunpoint, sometimes on multiple occassions, then that scars you. These are people that this never used to happen to before. They are not tourists, they are Argentines who don't flash their jewelry or iPhones in public. But they have been held at gunpoint because robbers are getting bolder by the month.

The perception that crime is getting bad has nothing to do with the statistics on murder. The perception that crime is getting bad has everything to do with having to experience being robbed and then knowing that it can happen again and again (especially when it has happened again and again).

As for whether the police here is bad or not. I can't comment on that. I have not personally had any experience, good or bad, with the police. But the perception of people is that the police here is, at times, worse than the robbers. I'm sure that perception too is based in reality one way or another.
Well quite true that people once dead is dead but you are forgeting the family and friends of that person that die will still feel the extreme pain that produce a murder, worst than any other crime.
One thing why you thing that sensation of insecurity is related to real insecurity? yes it have a correlation but is more correlated to what the media show than of what happen to the people one know, i read what you write but the countrys where people fear more the insecurity are not nesesarily the ones that are more insecure in the reality, media have a big role on the feeling don't you agree?
 

sleslie23

Active Member
nicoenarg said:
I think I personally would take a random shooting over a targeted robbery any day of the week.
You wouldn't say that if you've seen the effect that gang violence has had on various communities in the US. Nor would you say that if you've actually been shot or someone you know has been shot randomly for no reason.

But then again, you seem to think being murdered is preferable to being robbed, so maybe you would.
 

nicoenarg

Veteran
sleslie23 said:
You wouldn't say that if you've seen the effect that gang violence has had on various communities in the US. Nor would you say that if you've actually been shot or someone you know has been shot randomly for no reason.

But then again, you seem to think being murdered is preferable to being robbed, so maybe you would.
I actually wasn't going against anything you said. I was just mentioning what I would prefer. And not wanting to get into an argument with you here, I'll just explain why I said it.

What I wrote was that I would prefer RANDOM shooting over TARGETED robbery. Now the reason I say that is that random shooting is like a random car accident that results in people's death. No matter what you do, or don't do, you can be a victim. Whereas in a targeted robbery, you and your family are the specific target. For me, that is a scarier situation whereas when its random, its random.

The issue of gang violence is a different one and that is not what I am referring to at all.

As for whether I prefer murder over robbery, I respectfully ask you to read what I actually wrote IN CONTEXT. It seems to be a habit of people here lately to ignore what the person actually writes and jump to conclusions as fast as possible to attack the other personally. I hope that's not what's happening here.
 
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