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To the Editors:

I think your 'Mapping Crime' and 'Central Park Crime' stories had misguided headlines and tabloid overtones.

The mapping crime article says crimes follow Broadway, especially near major cross streets. So, crime follows the majority of pedestrian traffic, which also happens to match the majority of commercial store locations. Since the majority of crimes are larceny ? the theft of property (not personal crimes like robbery, rape, assault or murder) ? why should anyone need statistical mapping to know that thefts or "crime" happens where the stores and people congregate?

The real "crime" story that would be in the public interest is that crime is in decline and has been in recent years. And if you want to get feisty, show a comparison of precincts. Show the various west side precincts and compare them to each other and to the rest of Manhattan.


Bob Adler

Your crime report points out that Riverside Park "closes" at 1 a.m. Unless huge gates are built around the park with locks, the park cannot be "closed." What is meant is that no one is allowed to enter the park after 1 am. Enforcing that can be challenging, to say the least.

You also suggested the crime wave on W. 97th St. near Riverside Drive may be due to its proximity to Riverside Park. Although it's not politically correct to ask (say so), could the increased crime be attributed to the large increase in SROs over the past few years?

Leon Mitrani

West End Avenue

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