Places That Attract Crime

Ulalume

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#1
Specifically, places that attract crime and criminal behavior for no apparent reason.

There are places that attract criminal-type behavior for reasons that are easy to see - say, a bad neighborhood, no police presence, a landlord who looks the other way or the place is secluded or abandoned, etc. What I'm interested in are places where crime really shouldn't keep springing up, but does anyway.

What brought this to mind is a particular place in our town. It's a certain small section of the public park, neither secluded nor especially private, which seems to be a hotbed of predatory or criminal activities. It's certainly not lacking a police presence, either - people are busted there often enough. And yet you can't go there without someone trying to buy or sell you drugs, solicit sex or drag you into the bushes or something.

And even though the public restrooms in this section are right next to the road (which is well trafficked and regularly patrolled by the cops) there is always some twitchy person hanging around trying to peer over the stalls.

Growing up in this town, I'd seen any number of such predatory type behaviors in this one spot, despite the park being very large and having plenty more secluded and less trafficked areas in it. I'd avoided this part of the park since moving back, but my son went to a swimming party there the other day (because, in theory, it's meant to be a family friendly place) and I hadn't turned my back for one minute when some shady guy was trying to flog some obviously stolen property to my husband. Some things don't change, I guess.

After the party was over, my son commented that, although he thought the place looked nice, the whole time he was there, he kept feeling like he was being watched by someone with bad intentions.

Anyway, I was curious if anyone else had experience of similar places, or theories about why such places might attract certain activities. I really don't know if this is a common thing or perhaps it's just our local "criminal element" that are such creatures of habit, they keep returning despite the repeated arrests.

I've included some photos to show how innocent the place looks.
Island1.JPG Island2.JPG Island3.JPG

Also, it's worth noting that there are plenty of places to swim in the park, so it can't be only the prospect of briefly-clad swimmers bringing out the creepers to this spot.
 

Frasier Buddolph

CAUTION: May not know what he's talking about.
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#2
Puzzling, I agree. Looks like a very pleasant spot.

Is it situated so that folks can get in and out quickly, maybe on a major road or near an on-ramp to the expressway? Ne-er-do-wells want to be able to get away fast if things go pear-shaped.

On the other hand, if it's more of a pedestrian area, I have no idea.
 

Mungoman

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#4
I remember doing a survey report in a previous life for a walking track by the local Wollondilly River. There were numerous provisos to keep in mind when planning the walk, namely blackberry bushes harbouring snakes, drop offs close to the river side, seeps that could cover the track, tall grasses that concealed ticks &c.

We duly submitted it, only to have it returned with a post-it note indicating that we'd missed out out 'pedo points', which is any area that was not visually open for some distance, or length of the path.

The worry was not just for 'dogging spots', or areas where perves could get up to their nefarious activities, but also for criminal activities - doing a quick leg over the back fence to do a 'beagle' on a house where nobody was home - it surprised me at the time because Goulburn is a quiet country town where everybody knows everybody else, and the cry of 'I see you' is usually a precursor to a good chat and a catch-up on 'your Faiths young mans brother-in-laws polly Angus bull'.

We live and learn Ulalume.
 
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#5
Specifically, places that attract crime and criminal behavior for no apparent reason.

There are places that attract criminal-type behavior for reasons that are easy to see - say, a bad neighborhood, no police presence, a landlord who looks the other way or the place is secluded or abandoned, etc. What I'm interested in are places where crime really shouldn't keep springing up, but does anyway.

What brought this to mind is a particular place in our town. It's a certain small section of the public park, neither secluded nor especially private, which seems to be a hotbed of predatory or criminal activities. It's certainly not lacking a police presence, either - people are busted there often enough. And yet you can't go there without someone trying to buy or sell you drugs, solicit sex or drag you into the bushes or something.

And even though the public restrooms in this section are right next to the road (which is well trafficked and regularly patrolled by the cops) there is always some twitchy person hanging around trying to peer over the stalls.

Growing up in this town, I'd seen any number of such predatory type behaviors in this one spot, despite the park being very large and having plenty more secluded and less trafficked areas in it. I'd avoided this part of the park since moving back, but my son went to a swimming party there the other day (because, in theory, it's meant to be a family friendly place) and I hadn't turned my back for one minute when some shady guy was trying to flog some obviously stolen property to my husband. Some things don't change, I guess.

After the party was over, my son commented that, although he thought the place looked nice, the whole time he was there, he kept feeling like he was being watched by someone with bad intentions.

Anyway, I was curious if anyone else had experience of similar places, or theories about why such places might attract certain activities. I really don't know if this is a common thing or perhaps it's just our local "criminal element" that are such creatures of habit, they keep returning despite the repeated arrests.

I've included some photos to show how innocent the place looks.
View attachment 2488 View attachment 2489 View attachment 2490

Also, it's worth noting that there are plenty of places to swim in the park, so it can't be only the prospect of briefly-clad swimmers bringing out the creepers to this spot.
It looks nice but the sight lines are short. It's easy to be relatively concealed.
 

Ulalume

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#6
Thanks for the input, everyone. You all make good points. It might be some combination of all of these things. It occurs to me that if I were at all criminally inclined, it would probably be immediately obvious why these things happen here.

Having thought through the points above, it also occurs to me that there is a back way out of this section of the park, a short cut that can take a person quite a long distance on foot much faster than by car. Basically, following the river rather than the roads.That, along with the short sight lines, might be the key.

The Genius Loci is probably a pretty sketchy type, too!
 
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