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Readers Respond: Does A New Wal-Mart Mean New Crime?

Responses: 5

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Many of the residents in the Heights, one of Houston's most popular residential areas, are hoping to prevent a new Wal-Mart from opening up in their neighborhood, and they're citing an inevitable increase in crime as one of the reasons why. Is there hypothesis correct: Do Wal-Marts attract crime? What Are Your Thoughts?

This is great timing...

This is great timing considering a woman was robbed at the Wal-Mart at West Road in the window covering section, followed him out the store yelling at employees and security that she had just robbed him and they did nothing. Their “security” is a joke and there are a million and one anecdotal examples of how they could care less about the well being of their customers. Also, Wal-Mart parking lots are big and rarely patrolled. It is true that they are used for many nefarious things, whether teens just hanging out and drinking or drug deals going down or what not. You don’t have to Google it, you just have to go by Dunvale on a Sat night is all.
—Guest AreYouKidding?

The statistics...

The statistics back up the crime issue. It’s a very simple thing to google “walmart + crime statistics” and find overwhelming evidence. It’s not an issue with ethnicity or even economic income as many would state. It’s an issue that Walmart, unlike many other large retailers, does NOT put in cameras (except to spy for potential union action amongst its employees) nor do they have security in their lots. Look it up – I’m not going to do it for you. Secondly, the issue of traffic is very valid as well as declining property values near this monstrosity. Walmart succeeds better in the suburbs and not as much inside the urban areas. Furthermore, Houston’s leaders seem to want to offer subsidy and/or tax breaks for the developer. When the world’s LARGEST retailer is wanting to build, why in the heck do they need such breaks? My bet is that they are helping some folks re-election bids.
—Guest Don H

Y'all both...

@ Piknchoose & (Author) Shea Serrano Y’all both make very interesting and valid points. It’s true that developers typically have the upper hand over the citizens of Houston. It’s also true that Houston is a very pro-business city, and partly because of that, we continue to be prosperous in spite of a recession. The Heights and West End are very special parts of our city. They have managed to retain so much of the history and charm that helped to make this city great, but for which too many Houstonians seems to have little regard. (I point to the Montrose area, Freedman’s Town and the Fifth Ward as ongoing examples of that disregard for history.) I think I can speak for the majority of this area’s residents when I say we take a certain pride in what continues to be accomplished in making our neighborhoods even better places to live. As a whole, our city has done well in weathering the financial storm, but these neighborhoods have positively excelled! It seems foolish to tinker with
—Guest Stef Silvano

While the community...

@Piknchoose: While the community does not have a right to dictate who buys the land, it does have a right to demand traffic, environmental and other impact studies to determine how a retailer of this size will impact the surrounding neighborhoods. Results from those studies can halt private development. This was the case with the Ashby Highrise development (Owned privately and in possession of City-issued permits before being halted by a curb-cut bylaw. Their issue was also traffic volumes.) Spring Valley also blocked a Walmart from building with the evidence from impact studies. It is our intent to pursue every legal and technical avenue to ensure that this project is not built. With regard to the original article: while crime does occur everywhere, the available data confirms that Walmart incurs the lion’s share of petty crime and aggravated assault incidents. Unlike other retailers of a similar size or concept that see markedly less incidents of crime, Walmart is open 24/7. This
—Guest AnneBaum

Any shopping center...

Any shopping center has a crime issue. Walmart may not have the best record. I am not sure when its going to sink in to the opponents of this project that they don’t have the right to choose the retailer. The developer does. The city does not have the teeth to say no and quite frankly I am not sure they desire to. If you read between the lines from statements from city officials including the mayor. I think that’s pretty obvious. While they have quickly formed a rather effective PR campaign and grass roots efforts. I am not convinced they are even a majority opinion. People who are for the project don’t really feel the need to mount a PR campaign because in all likely hood they know this project is going to happen and for many they either don’t care or don’t think it’s a big deal. Regardless if that is a correct assessment or not, we will never know. Its a moot point anyway, this is not a democratic process for citizens. The developer purchased a commercial property in a city with n
—Guest Piknchoose

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Does A New Wal-Mart Mean New Crime?

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