By Zachary Mitchell
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter
Crime rates in Lansing are significantly higher than other cities. According to an FBI report, Lansing has an average of 153 crimes per square mile, compared to 39.6 crimes per square mile nationally.
Among these crimes, robberies are a large issue. According to this same report, the chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime such as robbery is one in 97 in Lansing.
Police Chief Michael Yankowski says that crime will not be tolerated in the Lansing area, and that the police force is doing everything that it can to ensure that Lansing residents are safe and law abiding.
Police efforts have been recognizable, with Lansing going from the 70th most dangerous city in the country in 2012, to the 80th in 2014.
The amount of robberies reported in 2014 in Lansing was 250, with an average of 219 per 100,000 population, compared to the U.S. average of 102 per 100,000 population. During the month of December in 2015, there was even 16 robberies reported within 30 days in Lansing.
On March 3 of this year, a robbery was reported at a local Comerica Bank, though bank robberies are very rare in Michigan.
Mayor Virg Bernero said that “most Lansing residents will never experience violent crime.” He says that if Lansing residents keep good company, and are law abiding, then they should not have any issues related to robbery, or other crimes.
Some Lansing residents agree with the mayor, and some residents even feel safe though the crime rates are high.
“I’ve been living in Lansing my entire life and I haven’t had anything serious happen to me. When minor issues do happen though, like suspicious activity in my neighborhood, police are usually very good with acting on it,” said Robert Barnes, a Lansing resident.
Said local resident Alicia Hayes: “I feel safe in Lansing and always have. Police are usually quick to respond, and do their best to make sure that everything is taken care of.”
Justin Smith, a criminology professor at Central Michigan University, suggests that robberies occur in areas that are more poverty-stricken, and in the event that someone becomes a victim of robbery, they should obey the robber’s requests, especially if the robber is armed.
Yankowski says that the best thing to do if you are ever being robbed is to “trust your judgment. Lansing police have the best interest at heart for the community and will ensure that any crimes committed will be handled immediately.”