Long Island City, New York March 2, 2011 -
The message from the 108th Police Precinct is "DON'T LEAVE VALUABLES IN YOUR VEHICLES". [ See PDF ]
City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer organized a community meeting for the residents of Hunters Point to meet with the 108th Precinct.
Captain Donald Powers, Commanding Officer of the 108th Precinct, began his comments by reviewing a comparison of automobile related crimes in the 108th Precinct for the January - February 2011 Period, and compared it to the same period a year ago.
[ Summary of Auto Crime Stats for Long Island City will be posted here. ]
At issue is the fact that residents, who had witnessed car windows broken (in apparent thefts), had called the Precinct to report the incidents, but police are not able to file reports unless actual reports are made by the vehicle owner. Since there seems to be instances where an auto owner chooses not to report a break-in and theft, the reporting of these crimes understates the actual crime level of this type.
Powers explained that this is basic law enforcement policy, and that the vehicle owner must report the crime in order for it to be recorded. However, he, and the police officers with him who do the investigation, emphasized that the reporting is not a reflection of the actual effort to prevent or investigate specific crimes ...or the pattern of crimes in the community.
The problem of getting automobile owners in Long Island City to report auto break-in and theft is complicated by the large number of vehicles parked here which have out of state license plates. Out of state plates makes investigation difficult because the owner can not be located. This also contributes to the under-reporting of crimes. Another contributing factor is that there are privacy issues. Often a vehicle owner does not want to report the crime for personal reasons, or to prevent insurance increases.
The department message was repeated. It is not a good idea to leave valuables in your automobile whether it is parked on the street or in a garage.
In Van Bramer's summary, the essential point that he wanted to call to the Commander's attention, was the importance of communication between the residents and the 108th Precinct because it is important for the community to trust both the information and the relationship.
To further improve the communication between the precinct and the community, the officers made available their email addresses and requested that the community advise them of anything that is important for them to know.
This is an article in progress. OurLIC attended the community meeting and is making full Video coverage available as part of this article.
[ Please watch here for text highlight of this community meeting. ]