Some residents of Rochester's South Wedge are forming an anti-crime group to address what they say is poor police response and follow-through, as well as a failure by the local media to report the truth about crime in their neighborhood.
"The people of the South Wedge are left with little recourse or remedy except to organize among ourselves, to track and monitor the frequency and location of violent assaults on our streets, take measures to protect ourselves and, finally, to devise measures that would help prevent their occurrence," says an invitation to the group's first meeting.
The meeting is later this week.
Statistics provided by the Rochester Police Department do not show a surge in what are called "part I crimes," such as murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The South Wedge has had three rapes so far this year, 23 robberies, three incidents of aggravated assault, and 20 burglaries.
The RPD provided statistics covering a five-year period, and the 2013 year-to-date figures are in line with previous years, going back to 2008. The exception is burglaries; there were 60 in total last year.
But one of the organizers of the South Wedge group says that there's suspicion that the numbers are underreported. And the group seems to be responding to anecdotal reports of assaults and other confrontations.
"Personally, I'm afraid to walk home alone at night," says Wendy Painting, a group facilitator. "We want to know what we can do. I don't know if the answer is to drop more cops on the street. I don't know if the answer is to put more cameras on the street. I almost think it's not. But information would go a long way."