An awkwardly worded sign in front of a police station in Oakland. Photo: JDNX on Flickr
Oakland has a tip for residents who want to avoid being robbed: barricade yourself in a corner of your house and don't speak to anyone. That's not exactly Oakland's message, but it might as well be.
The East Bay city has been plagued with crime over the years has actually seen a 43 percent decrease in robberies this month. But since "one robbery is one too many" the Oakland Police Department released a personal safety brochure to teach residents "how to be less attractive robbery victims."
The two page flyer has everything a rational person should know living in an urban area such as avoiding going to an ATM at night, making sure no one is following you at night and to never leave valuables in a place where someone can see them. But there is one glaring omission as well.
The pamphlet fails to encourage residents to speak to each other. One thing that has made Oakland tolerable for many people despite its notorious crime rate is the city's reputation of being a village. Something that is impossible without communication.
Sajid Farooq is an Oakland resident who talks to all his neighbors because he lives in a building where a 97-year-old woman was brutally murdered and his television was stolen before it was ever delivered.