Crime in Park View Is Serious, but Not as Dire as the Washington Post Would Have You Believe

Yesterday, the Washington Post published an article titled Living with a Surge in Violence and the Fear that Comes with It which focused on recent crime in Park View and how some in the community are thinking — and mobilizing — to engage and deal with the issue of crime in the community.

There are some things that the article gets right — such as how gun violence impacts the entire community, not just residents on one street or in a certain section, but everyone. There are also some things the article could do a much better job on — such as going out on a limb to suggest that what was experienced in Park View this year was either unique, or worse than other parts of D.C. With regards to gun violence, there were communities ripped apart this summer. I’m happy to report that Park View was not among them. Yes, we have genuine public safety issues and need to continue to organize, work with MPD and each other, and advocate for the level of public safety every neighborhood deserves. But from a long-view perspective — and as I told the article’s author DeNeen L Brown over a month ago — compared to where crime was in this community even seven years ago, Park View has come a long way in becoming a much safer place.

To add some much needed perspective that the Washington Post failed to do, I went to the DC Crime map and pulled the statistics for both violent and property crime from the period 2011 to present (please note, the data for 2015 is still lacking November and December since they are in the future). I chose a geographic area that is 1,500 ft. around the intersection of 6th Street and Newton Place, which has always worked well for me. Below are the results graphically.

Park View Violent Crime 2011 to date(Violent Crime in Park View 2011-October 2015)

The first chart shows violent crime. The good news is that robberies are down in general. Robberies with a gun are down from their 2012 high of 23 to 4 this year. Robberies without a gun are down from their 2013 high of 52 to 27 this year. Assaults with a gun appear to be on a general rise and there needs to be some work there, and we definitely can’t take our eyes of homicides or sexual assaults, both of which are fairly stable and relatively few over the span examined.

Park View Property Crime 2011 to present(Property Crime in Park View 2011-October 2015)

Property crime, though not as scary, has always been a huge issue in the neighborhood. Happily, theft from autos is finally coming down. This was a huge problem, with a high of 276 incidents in 2014 to 197 so far this  year. Theft in general has been rising steadily since 2011 and we should all be vigilant on this one and be aware of our surroundings. Burglary and stolen autos also may show some improvement this year over years past.

Overall, these numbers do show that we have much work to do to improve our public safety in Park View … but don’t entirely support the dire picture that the Washington Post attempted to paint of the neighborhood on their front page.

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24 Comments on “Crime in Park View Is Serious, but Not as Dire as the Washington Post Would Have You Believe”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I actually agreed with the article. No matter what the statistics say, Park View and Columbia Heights have not felt very safe for a long time. It didn’t used to be like that. I have yet to see any elected officials take it seriously. Crime is out of control around here.

  2. Angry Parakeet Says:

    On Saturday afternoon my sister’s locked bike was stolen off my front porch with us sitting inside, blinds open, that’s how pervasive and sneaky the thefts are. It meant that a criminal was brazenly walking around with bolt cutters (large un-hideable tool)on busy Irving at a very busy time.

  3. ParkView Says:

    Really? So you cherry pick one area and the neighborhood and claim crime is down? Maybe you should come hang out on Morton Street one afternoon. There are men there every day and no they’re not just loitering–they’re smoking weed, dealing drugs, drinking, playing dice, throwing trash everywhere, arguing, and CARRYING GUNS. Yes, the police are aware of this and I am working with them because I know I cannot rely on Nadeau or Bowser.

  4. Angry Parakeet Says:

    As far as the Post article, I agree that the Park Morton mother’s response is over-reaction. She has a lot to worry about on many fronts as a single parent with 4 small children-getting shot is low on probability. I was surprised that criminals were messing with Romeo, he is so formidable and a local icon.

  5. Curious George Says:

    The post is just trying to generate clicks. Park View is a great place to live, and the improvements over the past few years have been dramatic. More investment in the neighborhood and more great residents who care about where they live will continue to improve things. Onward and upward Park View!!

    • AnonCoHi Says:

      Keep telling yourself that. Nadeau is in bed with these same criminals — or at least their grandparents who vote.

  6. mbk Says:

    There are guys regularly smoking weed at the picnic shelter at the Park Vie rec center, adjacent to the playground. I always wonder where are the DPR staff people or what happened to the segway cop that used to patrol the park last year. I hated taking my kid to the playground during most of the summer. We either walk or drive to Raymond, Upshur or Petworth Rec. Statistics are one thing but the truth is I feel a lot unsafer. The break ins are so much more brazen now. Nadeau seems useless as well.

    • Marcus Says:

      I obviously can’t speak to your sense of fear, but I can share experience with the park.

      Officer Jenkins (the segway cop) found my son in front of the Rec Center when he ran away from a school event last month, so he is still around. The Rec Center staff have also always responded when I have raised a concern. It is stressful for them, or anyone really, to confront someone who may be breaking the law, so they are not always thrilled to do it, but they have always been polite and followed through.

      The park is not without its problems and others have had different experiences, but I cannot ever recall feeling unsafe at the park since it was renovated and Craig Hughes took over as site manager.

  7. Jim Slicio Says:

    Everyone needs to relax. Crime in this area is only temporary. It will decrease in the geographic area indicated above once Part Morton folks are relocated south to Bruce Monroe Park (outside of geographic area) once the MB’s and BN’s affordable housing/redevelopment plans are expedited.

    • K Says:

      I’m assuming you are being sarcastic.
      They have been “engaging the community” (otherwise, keeping people on the payroll) regarding these plans for 10 years! MB and BN have not done anything different that I’ve noticed. Not one significant movement towards redevelopment (outside of the Avenue).

      It is unfortunate for the PM residents and surrounding community alike.

  8. mbk Says:

    I find it very very unlikely that any of the required replacement units will get relocated off site. As in less than 10% chance of that happening. The intent of New Communities is clear-on site replacement housing. Honestly I dont have much confidence that Park Morton is moving now either. I don’t agree with onsite replacement and I know its part of the reason the development is ten years late. Even a “temporary” spike in crime is problematic in my opinion.

  9. cj Says:

    Give the people at Park Morton vouchers to move elsewhere -> Raze Park Morton -> Stop the “affordable housing” narrative -> Build Market Rate Units -> Park View’s Problem solved.

  10. rooney Says:

    This is why, to me, putting the replacement units at Bruce Monroe Park is a non-starter. Those who bought houses near Park Morton knew what they were getting when they chose to buy there. Those in the vicinity of Bruce Monroe Park, including myself, would probably have made a different buying decision if there was a housing project right across the street. With all of the issues on Georgia Avenue already, why would this even be contemplated??? I suspect those pushing for the Bruce Monroe site just want the problem moved from their backyards.

    • solsbarry Says:

      I haven’t heard anyone pushing for The Bruce Monroe site, except the Mayor. I live near PM, but I don’t want them messing with the BM Park either.

      • parkviewExPat Says:

        The idea has been kicked around since 2013 – see Kent’s own post on this blog dated November 1, 2013. “If the Bruce Monroe Park became smaller to get Park Morton moving forward…”

    • K Says:

      There is no pushing of the community (that I’m aware of) for relocation to Bruce Monroe. I also live near PM and don’t think they should relocate to the park.

      There are plenty of off-site and on-site spots including the old Hebrew Home (at 25% or less) that should be included in satisfying the #’s for off-site replacement units. Can someone explain why 3232 Georgia has not been included in those #’s?

      • K Says:

        I have strong a feeling Nadeau will fight Hebrew Home #’s being included because it takes votes she is pandering to out of her Ward though

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