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Crime and blame

Original post made by Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 23, 2008

I must apologise as I am one of the anonymous posters who have accused EPA residents shopping in Palo Alto as possibly having something to do with the increase in crime in Palo Alto.

Whereas I am sure that there is a great deal of good going on in EPA and not all residents are involved in crime, gangs, drug dealing, or the like, I know that I would not like to be stuck in EPA in a broken down car late at night on University Avenue in EPA.

My real concern is not in the crime in EPA, but the increase in crime in Palo Alto. We have had too many armed robberies, burglaries, and personal attacks of late. There is another one mentioned in today's headlines in El Camino Park. We hear a lot about these crimes, but very little about what is being done to prevent crime and to catch the criminals.

Obviously we cannot close the door to outsiders nor would we want to. But, we realistically must have the police and city officials do something to make Palo Alto safer. We consider ourselves a friendly community style city and we have decided to live here because we feel safe. We really want this feeling of security to remain and the only way for this to happen in my opinion is to get tough on crime. Obviously, writing letters to the city council and newspapers is a means of doing this for the average resident, but seeing the City and PAPD getting tough on this would be helpful to all of us.

If we don't do something soon, our real estate prices are going to suffer and families are going to start moving out even if they are here for the good schools.

Comments (14)

Posted by Get real
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2008 at 4:36 pm

",,,,very little about what is being done to prevent crime and to catch the criminals." So, you catch the criminals, lock them up for a night or two; a Judge gives them a slap on the wrist, possibly probation, and lets them go. Why, because the citizens of California won't pay to build more prisons and the ones we have are all full.

Get use to the increase in crime; the Feds are about to order the State to release many thousands of prisoners before their terms are up because of overcrowding in our jails.

Posted by julie
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 23, 2008 at 4:40 pm

We are well on our way to becoming like Berkley--- high crime, more beggars then drugs and violence -- families moving out.
Stanford will start restricting access to outsiders to protect their investment.

At one time Berkley was a charming college town like Palo Alto once was but we have followed their path and there is no turning back with out the courage which we lack.

I hardly ever go to downtown Palo Alto anymore, I shop and eat at Stanford shopping center or Menlo Park these days

Posted by Katia
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2008 at 5:10 pm

I completely agree with Resident, we need to do something about it!

Posted by DoSomethingAboutIt
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 23, 2008 at 5:17 pm

Time and again the noble anonymous posters post great ideas "we need to do something about it" - can someone come up with an idea for "Something" and what to do with the idea ?

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2008 at 5:18 pm


Posted by julie
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 23, 2008 at 5:20 pm

We could start by installing CCTVs, moving the beggars out and adopting a "Broken Window" approach, it worked in NY

Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 24, 2008 at 11:51 am

Well, where is the police presence, the police enforcement?

Posted by anon
a resident of Green Acres
on Apr 26, 2008 at 11:58 am

That college town across the bay is Berkeley. Not Berkley.

Posted by Mary
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 27, 2008 at 8:22 am

The trend is bad economy, higher crime regardless of where you live.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 27, 2008 at 10:06 am

It isn't the economy that turns people to crime, we are not in an environment where people steal a loaf of bread to feed the family.

No, it is lack of family values, lack of role models for (male) youth and the glorification of crime in movies and video games coupled with the increase in the numbers of gangs, etc. If we could somehow return to 50s family values where a family consisted of two parents (working or not) who came home in the evening and had dinner together then watched tv or helped with homework, then I feel sure we would see less crime. However, family values have generally gone and the family itself is disappearing with family mealtimes a thing of the past.


Posted by Roger Ebert
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2008 at 1:32 am

Parent -

I believe the movie you're looking for is called "Pleasantville."

The 50s were a wonderful time indeed, because no one had any problems as long as they met the norms for political views, sexual identity, mental health, addiction issues, marital issues, etc. The beautiful suburban housing tracts that sprang up for all those strapping young GIs, and the banks that financed the loans, were widely guilty of discrimination based on religion and race, and so whole segments of society were kept in segregated neighborhoods and schools - long after Brown v. Board of Ed. - and excluded from the opportunity to gain quality education, wealth, and home equity, the benefits of which have trickled right down to most of us here in P.A. today, directly or indirectly. Ah, to be young, innocent, and the right kind of person in the right kind of place in the 50s... sigh.

I actually agree with you about role models, family time, etc. But the idyllic 50s image masked a few ugly realities for millions of other people.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2008 at 8:55 am


Point taken

I know that there were a lot wrong with the 50s, but I was referring to the ideal of family life rather than the politics.

For a family, any family, to aim to give their kids a better start in life, it would be a good idea to get down to investing in their family. If a family could aim to sit down and eat together a few evenings a week, if the whole family sat and watched American Idol (for example) rather than being scattered around the house each in their own room watching their own thing, if the parents could sort out their issues and remain together rather than separating because of an inability to live together, so that the family and the home were a sanctuary for the children and teenagers rather than a source of stress, then perhaps things will change.

Posted by smartman
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 8, 2008 at 5:29 pm

Maybe most people in Palo Alto have college degrees are are just plain stupid and stuck up. You dont know that more crimes are commited by EPA residents or PA residents. There are poor people in Palo Alto too. The more you keep telling yourself that you are better than other people and that you are superior the more you hurt the world around you. You buy fancy cars and park them 2 blocks away from east palo alto then expect that not the piss the people off who were born in life with less than you. Stop being stupid.

Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 8, 2008 at 6:07 pm


That is a hate statement, if there ever was one. According to your views, rich people deserve to be terrorized, becasue they are rich. Another name for it is 'socialist thought'. Your thinking resulted in about 100 million murders in the 20th century.

There IS a smarter way, smartman. It is called freedom, allowed by a free market (winners and losers). I came out of poverty, and I am confident that any free American can do the same, as long as they do not buy into the hatred that you just provided.

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