3.05.2006

security

Here's something I've meant to blog about for ages, a difference between New York and Toronto that Allan and I have noticed since our first visit.

On our very first trip to Toronto, our immigration applications already filed, we met with two legal staffing agencies, to try and gauge our job prospects. One of them is in the Bank of Montreal building, where Allan now works. We walked into the building, and stood there, looking around us, a bit lost - until we realized we could just walk right up to the elevator and go in.

No security.

This was absolutely bizarre.

After moving here, when Allan was interviewing and then starting work, he mentioned the same thing several times. Then, more recently, it was my turn. Amazing. You can just walk into a building and go upstairs. No stop at a security desk. No one gives you a building pass or calls up to the offices to see if you're expected. You just walk in.

Even before September 11th, office buildings in New York always had some type of security. When I worked on the weekends, often alone in a large office, I was grateful for that. I woudln't have been comfortable otherwise.

But after September 11th, everything tightened up. For a while it was a bit ridiculous - daily bag searches, as if someone who has worked in the building for years and years is suddenly going to blow it up, and as if a glance in a backpack could possibly prevent that. But even after the hysteria passed, heightened security remained.

Many large office buildings have more than one entrance, and now many of the secondary entrances are closed or at least guarded. I used to know all the shortcuts through midtown Manhattan - a legacy of my temping experience. It was fun to walk from, say, 43rd Street to 47th Street without ever setting foot on an avenue. (Does that make sense to you all? Avenues are the "long blocks," running north-south, streets are the "short blocks," running east-west.) I would walk through buildings, many with a plaza or courtyard in the lobby. No more. No one wants strangers walking through their buildings anymore.

Many buildings have installed concrete barriers - sometimes not-so-cleverly disguised as giant plant pots - that supposedly guard against car bombings. My friend Alan With One L works in a building with a security dog, who has been the subject of our concern - and our mirth. To these we say: Get over yourselves.

But even without that silliness, you generally can't get into a building without either an electronic pass or a stop at a security desk. (This must be quite a boon for the security-guard business.)

To my knowledge, none of this exists in Toronto. And if it's not in Canada's largest city, my guess is it's nowhere else, either.

Of course, firms and companies within these Toronto buildings have their own security. You generally need a pass to get from the elevator into the offices. But still: you just walk in.

49 comments:

Scott M. said...

You generally need a pass to get from the elevator into the offices. But still: you just walk in.

Security is increased in some places... major data centres for the banks and utilities for instance. The concern seems more to be with business continuity than personal protection.

That being said, buildings where it is "easy" to put security in have done so. The many, many buildings in Downtown Toronto linked by the Path, however, tend to have multiple tenants, many of which want "walk-in" business which security would prevent (lawyers, investigators, etc). It's not that it would be impossible, it's just unlikely.

And really, most Torontonians think there is no real threat. What terrorists are going to choose us when there are so many other great targets? And as for preventing disgruntled staffers or others with an axe to grind... good luck. For that matter, unless you use security measures that are closer to strict airport security it's unlikely that you'll prevent the terrorists anyway.

So, what does building security do? (Yes they do exist in all these places)... they look for suspicious people and respond to incidents.

L-girl said...

And really, most Torontonians think there is no real threat.

That's the only point, I think.

Obviously all the buildings in NYC have multiple tenants, too. Looking for "suspicious" people doesn't do any good - most people are smart enough to know how to blend in.

The only difference is perceived threat.

M@ said...

I'm no huge fan of Michael Moore or anything, but I found his central thesis in Bowling for Columbine extremely interesting: that the gun culture and all the problems around it are symptoms on a culture of fear.

Americans' perception of the impact of crime on their lives is far greater than the actual impact. Similarly, their perception of the potential impact of terrorism on their lives is far greater than the actual potential impact. Even in New York City, which has been the subject of multiple concerted efforts by a single group, the chances of terrorism directly affecting a person are very low.

Here, I think there is far less fear of crime and terrorism. It's almost like boundless optimism on one side and boundless pessimism on the other side.

Without getting into the whole question of the actual fact of crime or terrorism, I'm interested to know from the Americans in the audience whether they agree that the difference is a matter of levels of fear, rather than any significant difference between the threat of crime or terrorism in our different countries.

Wow, that's probably completely impenetrable. But for me, the fact that it's more about fear than actual threat has become something of a truism. Not sure if it is for everyone.

Granny said...

Anyone determined to do harm will do it.

When I worked in S. F., we had a guard at the last building where I worked. He just waved at us and I don't think he ever stopped anyone unless they were trying to carry a computer out the door. I imagine now it's like NY.

S. F. did have one office building shooting while I lived there (domestic violence) and frightening for all of us. That building, One Market Plaza, upped their security afterward.

Here it's uneven. For a while the post office had a guard (anthrax)and we needed i.d. Soc. Security still does. However, we can walk right into the Courthouse and the Administration Building despite the danger (perceived or otherwise) to judges.

Strange.

L-girl said...

Anyone determined to do harm will do it.

I agree with this completely. Most security gives an illusion of safety, and that seems to satisfy most people.

I'm no huge fan of Michael Moore or anything, but I found his central thesis in Bowling for Columbine extremely interesting: that the gun culture and all the problems around it are symptoms on a culture of fear.

I am a huge fan of Michael Moore. I understand the right hating him, but I don't understand the backlash from the left at all. I think he's brilliant.

But in any case, M@, I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you asking the Americans here if we think there's really anything to be afraid of?

Humans are often afraid of the wrong things. I'm sure you've seen stuff on that - how people are more afraid of (eg) terrorism than skin cancer, despite the relative odds of being hit with either.

I was never afraid of terrorism (after we were told all the planes were grounded and accounted for on 9/11, that is), but many Americans are. Their govt and their media makes sure of it.

M@ said...

Well I guess what I mean is that I sympathise with Moore and have for a long time (why is The Big One not more readily available on DVD? I think it was only released last year!). I have problems with some aspects of his filmmaking but that's really beside the point.

I'm wondering about your take on the whole security issue though. Do you think it's better to use the minimum possible security (as you've found in Toronto)? Or do you think that's too far to the optimism side of the equation, and buildings in Toronto should be implementing some of the typical US policies?

It also occurs to me that a more litigious country would err on the side of caution -- fears of lawsuits seem to be far more justified in the USA than the fear of, well, anything else...

L-girl said...

I meant to mention lawsuits. That's the primary motivating factor for most buildings to spend the money on security.

My own take is that, while some of the hysterical reaction (bag searches, concrete barriers) was ridiculous, I don't understand allowing people to wander in and out of buildings whether or not they have business there. There's no "walk in trade" on the 43rd Floor.

Likewise, we used to be able to board an airplane without anyone even glancing at us. I'm not sorry to see better airport security. I only wish it was better funded, consistent, etc. - but that's a different story.

Canadians like to talk about leaving their doors unlocked. This makes no sense to me. It takes very little time or effort to lock a door, and then your house is much more secure. Things do happen. Crime does exist. Why not just flip a lock or turn a key?

Of course if someone really wants to break into a home, they will find a way - but there's no need to leave the path of least resistance wide open.

So I'd come down somewhere in between total lock-down and total nonchalance. Not very helpful, I guess. It's just my personal comfort level.

At one of my recent interviews, we were discussing weekend staffing. The administrator mentioned that they don't feel it's safe to have one person working alone on the weekends. If the building had good security, like where I worked in NY, it wouldn't be an issue.

Scott M. said...

Canadians like to talk about leaving their doors unlocked. This makes no sense to me.

Perhaps if you live in a place where it's likely some drunkard is going to stumble up to your apartment door in an attempt to get into his own, it makes sense. But when you live in the suburbs on a dead-end street like I do, it's not likely you'll have that.

So what would I be protecting myself against? Robbers?

OK, if someone wanted to rob my house, other than being stupid (there's not much here), they could get in any of a dozen easy ways including large basement windows (I have a raised bungalow) which are sheilded from the road and neighbours by a large hedge.

Does anyone really think that robbers go door-to-door, try the door and say "Drat! Foiled again by the lock!" until such a time as they come across an unlocked door? Please. If they want in they can come in. Why have them break things and cause even more damage?

The only other argument I've heard of was from a friend I met on the Canadian (sleeper train from Toronto to Vancouver) who was, coincidentally, American. She was under the impression that if she left her door unlocked she would be attacked by a break-and-enter rapist.

If that's not rediculous enough, she thought that locking the door would keep them out and they'd "try someone else". Ya. That's it.

L-girl said...

Honey, women are attacked by rapists who try doors to see if they're unlocked. It happens. Not infrequently.

I was raped in my own apartment, by someone who broke in through the window. Obviously this colours my perspective. But most women I know don't stay home with the door unlocked, Canadians included. If you think there's no reason for this in Canada, you're living in a dream world.

I hope if you have a daughter you will not advise her to stay home alone with the door unlocked - anywhere.

Scott M. said...

Honey, women are attacked by rapists who try doors to see if they're unlocked. It happens. Not infrequently.

Laura, I am truly saddened by your own personal tragedy. However, as you duly note, your judgement is a bit clouded. It is EXTREMELY infrequent. And, as you said yourself, in your case the person did not allow the door to stop him. My point exactly.

I am not living in a dream world. I recognize there are bad people out there. You must evalutate the situation you are living in and mitigate the risks accordingly. Living in an apartment it simply makes sense to lock your door if you're alone. Chances are your door will be mistaken for someone elses, and locking it prevents any confusion.

But living in fear that you'll be attacked because you left the door unlocked -- no thanks. I'll not have my daughter so scared by extremely rare circumstances that she is constantly looking over her shoulder or scared to be alone. Vigilant, yes. Scared shitless, as may women are, no.

BTW, you will be happy to know that the police reports reliably, through the media, all instances of rape-by-strangers and serial rapists. This was brought on by the famous "Jane Doe" case of many years ago. Haven't heard of any since you moved here? There's a reason why.

L-girl said...

However, as you duly note, your judgement is a bit clouded. It is EXTREMELY infrequent.

Actually, you are wrong. My knowledge doesn't come from clouded judgement. It comes from 20 years of work in the anti-rape movement - from solid statistics.

The unlocked door is a danger. It's a fact. It's not "extremely infrequent". It's not even infrequent. It happens.

The unsafe window isn't too good, either.

The media does not report all stranger rapes. First of all, most of them aren't even reported to the police. Of those that are reported, most do not make the news. The rapes that make the headlines are a small fraction of those that occur.

I'm always surprised people don't realize this. But apparently they don't.

L-girl said...

I'll not have my daughter so scared by extremely rare circumstances that she is constantly looking over her shoulder or scared to be alone. Vigilant, yes. Scared shitless, as may women are, no.

By the way, I wasn't talking about living in fear. I don't do that, and most people don't. I would never suggest that any woman should.

But locking your door does not mean living in fear! It's a simple, common sense action. Most people know this.

L-girl said...

Haven't heard of any since you moved here? There's a reason why.

Scott, are you seriously saying you think there haven't been any stranger rapes in all of Canada for the last six months?

If that were true, Canada would be the only rape-free nation on the planet. Sadly, it is not.

Scott M. said...

First of all, most of them (rapes) aren't even reported to the police.

Agreed.

Of those that are reported, most do not make the news. The rapes that make the headlines are a small fraction of those that occur.

Perhaps you're basing this on your experience in New York. It's simply not true here. They are reported. You can also find the information here.

The unlocked door is a danger. It's a fact. It's not "extremely infrequent". It's not even infrequent. It happens.

I didn't say it doesn't happen. I said it is extremely infrequent. By saying "it's not infrequent" you're implying that it happens regularly. Again, I don't know about other cities, but it IS infrequent here. Take a gander at the unsolved cases list... how many of them are for people who were raped in their own home?

I'm always surprised people don't realize this. But apparently they don't.

I'm equally surprised that people would actually make statements that it is "not infrequent" for a woman to have their home broken into and raped inside it. That's just fear-mongering and clearly untrue. What do you believe the percentage of women, over their lifetime, have this happen? Not rape, but specifically break-and-enter rape. More than 0.5%? More than 0.05%? What's your definition of "not infrequent"?

L-girl said...

For some interesting statistics, go here.

Some others are here.

Many of these statistics relate to assaults where the victim knows the assailant, but not all. A very, very small percentage of rapes are reported to the police. Estimates range from 1% and 15%.

Of the ones that are reported to the police, I can assure you that an even smaller percentage makes the headlines.

Scott M. said...

OK... come on now, you're quoting statistics that talk about "sexual or physical violence" against women. That can include shoving in a beer line at a hockey game.

And, as you rightly point out, most of the rapes are by people they know.

Again, where's the stat that it's "not infrequent" for women to be raped by a stranger in thier home?

L-girl said...

What do you believe the percentage of women, over their lifetime, have this happen? Not rape, but specifically break-and-enter rape. More than 0.5%? More than 0.05%?

Oh my god. You are living in a dream world.

I don't know the percentage. Here's what I know. Anywhere from one in four to one in eight women in North America will be raped in their lifetimes.

Of those, about half will be stranger rapes.

Of those, a significant portion will occur during break-ins and robberies.

I'm sorry I can't give an actual percentage for this, because I don't know it. I do know there are several common scenarios for stranger rape, and break-ins are one of them. Sorry I can't do better than that, but it's obvious that this figure would be much higher than 0.5% or 0.05%.

And now I have to go walk my dog.

L-girl said...

OK... come on now, you're quoting statistics that talk about "sexual or physical violence" against women. That can include shoving in a beer line at a hockey game.

Watch it, Scott. That crap doesn't fly here.

None of the statistics quoted there have anything to do with shoving in a beer line.

And, as you rightly point out, most of the rapes are by people they know.

Not most. About half. That leaves the other half.

Scott M. said...

Scott, are you seriously saying you think there haven't been any stranger rapes in all of Canada for the last six months?

I think you're not reading me correctly. First off, I'm talking about Toronto. Second, I'm talking about break-and-enter stranger rapes. It's a really small segment. That's been my point all along. It's infrequent.

I have never said that rape isn't common. It is and it's a shame. But stranger rape where they break and enter your home is extremely infrequent.

Scott M. said...

9. Most women who are sexually assaulted know their attackers. In fact approximately 80% are assaulted by men known to them in some capacity. (D. Kinnon, "Report on Sexual Assault in Canada, Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Ottawa, 1981)

80% != 50%. Your own stats.

Watch it, Scott. That crap doesn't fly here.

Are you suggesting my debate isn't intelligent or informed? Isn't questioning statistics valid considering they seem to contradict themselves, as shown above?

As far as the beer line, the exact quote was:

A 1993 survey found that one-half of all Canadian women have experienced at least one incident of sexual or physical violence. Almost 60% of these women were the targets of more than one violent incidents. (Statistics Canada, "The Violence Against Women Survey," The Daily, November 18, 1993)

Sexual or physical violence. Physical violence was NOT defined in the survey, it doesn't specify male/female violence, and has nothing to do with rape.

Again, I'm not saying rape isn't common, and please stop trying to twist my words. I'm saying break-and-enter stranger rape is uncommon. Extremely uncommon. Certainly NOT "not infrequent" as you have repeatedly said.

L-girl said...

I apologize if I was misconstruing you. I was not purposely trying to twist your words, and I'm sorry if I did.

Those particular words did seem ill informed to me, yes.

But stranger rape where they break and enter your home is extremely infrequent.

How would you know this? Do you think women would tell you? Do you think you would just know? Hear it through a grapevine?

You would not.

It's like thinking no one you know is dealing with domestic violence. Or, before it was common to know such things, that no one you know is gay. You would have no way of knowing.

I'm accustomed to disclosing my incident through years of public speaking and writing. When I tell another woman that I am a rape survivor, often she tells me that she is one, too. Usually, no one in her life knows this about her, or perhaps just her husband or a best friend.

My point is that you may have certain beliefs about rape that appear to be true on the surface, but are not.

Home break-ins are a not uncommon scenario for stranger rape. That's all I can tell you. Obviously I can't convince you of this fact if your mind is made up.

L-girl said...

Re 80% or 50%: the statistics I've always worked with and read are 50/50, stranger/acquaintance.

80% does seem unreasonably high to me, but I'm not familiar with that 1981 Ottawa report quoted there. That's all I can say about that.

There's no need to act like I'm saying 80% = 50%. I'm using a different source. Nothing more sinister than that.

redsock said...

As far as the beer line, the exact quote was

And the words "shoving in a beer line at a hockey game" are (no surprise) nowhere to do found.

The part that doesn't fly (I think) is making up a silly scenario like that. It has nothing to do with the topic being discussed, but could be seen as pointing out how most women are "sacred shitless" of men.

Canrane said...

I am truly sorry to hear about what you've been through Laura.

But not locking your door is just plain stupid IMO. If someone IS intent on breaking in, why make it easier for them? Make them work for it. The noise of someone trying the door alone may be enough to wake you up or warn you that something's up.

And who cares how statistically likely a break-in rape is! That's cold comfort to the victim. I bet every women who has survived one thought it would never happen to them. The point is that it CAN happen to you so you should take some common precautions. Injuries from indoor rock-climbing are also pretty infrequent, but that's no reason to do it without a rope. Locking your door is just common sense.

Scott M. said...

I'm using a different source. Nothing more sinister than that.

Not saying it's sinster... this whole discussion was surrounding stats. That's what happens.

From Stats Can's Violence against Women Survey: "Since the age of 16, has a MALE STRANGER ever forced you or attempted to force you into any SEXUAL activity by threatening you, holding you down or hurting you in some way" 7.49% (n=921) (weighted factor=741,078)"

So, 7.49% have been raped (or attempted rape) by a stranger (using the source you already quoted me). If 10% of those people were raped (or attempted rape) in their homes, the number of women is less than 1%.

I would think 10% of stranger rapes being break-and-enter would be high, wouldn't you?

redsock said...

Scott, are you saying that all reported rapes get mentioned in the paper?

L: Of those that are reported, most do not make the news. The rapes that make the headlines are a small fraction of those that occur.

S: Perhaps you're basing this on your experience in New York. It's simply not true here. They are reported.


Leaving aside which paper does all this reporting (or is it the aggregate papers in an area), why would this be the case?

All robberies reported to police aren't written up in the paper. You cannot read about all car accidents that require police or ambulance assistance. All assaults are not published. And on and on.

If this were so, the daily paper would have to be like 200 pages every day.

L-girl said...

But not locking your door is just plain stupid IMO. If someone IS intent on breaking in, why make it easier for them? Make them work for it. The noise of someone trying the door alone may be enough to wake you up or warn you that something's up.

Thank you...

And who cares how statistically likely a break-in rape is! That's cold comfort to the victim. I bet every women who has survived one thought it would never happen to them. The point is that it CAN happen to you so you should take some common precautions. Injuries from indoor rock-climbing are also pretty infrequent, but that's no reason to do it without a rope. Locking your door is just common sense.

Well said!

Canrane, thank you for bringing the discussion back to the point.

Thanks for your thoughts, too. It was a long time ago, and by now is a part of my landscape - a scar, but not a trauma.

Scott M. said...

Scott, are you saying that all reported rapes get mentioned in the paper?

Nope, I've repeatedly said (over and over) that I'm talking about break-in stranger rapes.

Again, again, again, I'm not saying that rape doesn't occur. Nor am I saying that all rape is reported. Nor am I saying it's not a huge concern. It is.

The only thing I've been trying to assert and my main theme, all along, is that it is extremely uncommon to have a break-in stranger rape. All of the other suppositions everyone has stated are just that... suppositions. They are not what I said, nor are they my beliefs.

L-girl said...

I would think 10% of stranger rapes being break-and-enter would be high, wouldn't you?

God, no! Not at all. Based on what I know about the most common M.O.s, the kinds police and hospitals are most familiar with, I'd say 10% is quite low.

If I had to guess, I'd say maybe 25% to one-third. That is a guess based on:
- seminars with emergency room doctors and nurses
- seminars with police
- my participation on panels of rape survivors addressing various populations (like medical students, eg)
- researching, reading and writing about the topic.

What's your guess based on?

L-girl said...

The only thing I've been trying to assert and my main theme, all along, is that it is extremely uncommon to have a break-in stranger rape.

And that is all anyone has responded to.

Except when you've said other things, off this main theme - which you have.

James said...

To my knowledge, none of this exists in Toronto. And if it's not in Canada's largest city, my guess is it's nowhere else, either.

There is one place where you can see over-the-top security in Canada: the US Embassy in Ottawa. The thing looks like a somewhere Darth Vader would live. The US Consulate in Toronto (on the west side of University, between Queen and Dundas), has the same thing to a lesser degree.

There are places in downtown Toronto where you'll reaonsably tight security, though. 151 Front St is a major one -- it's the site of data centers for all the major communication companies in Canada, as well as several other businesses. You can't get more than five meters into the place without a pass (I used to have one, almost 10 years ago, when I worked for UUNET Canada).

I have run into a couple of examples of stupid security, though. I was trying to photograph the inside of First Canadian Place when I was approached by a security guy who told me photography was forbidden "for security reasons" -- which made very little sense.

I was also interrupted while taking these photos in BCE Place, but that was for a different reason. Their position was that professional photographers must get a license to photograph the building, and anyone using a tripod (as I was) is, by definition, professional. SO I took the photos without the tripod, and they were fine with that. (Lifting the camera an inch transformed me from a pro photographer into a hobbyist, apparently.)

I am a huge fan of Michael Moore. I understand the right hating him, but I don't understand the backlash from the left at all. I think he's brilliant.

My big problem with Moore isn't that I think he's wrong about anything (or, at least, anything substantive), but that he's been caught too many times using questionable data to support his arguments (even when the solid data is just as good). All that does is give ammunition to his opponents and weakens his presentation. It's bad enough having the weak-kneed Democrats refusing to put up a fight, but it's just as bad when those who do put up a fight give the opposition ammunition when they do.

L-girl said...

Scott, are you saying that all reported rapes get mentioned in the paper?

Nope, I've repeatedly said (over and over) that I'm talking about break-in stranger rapes.


Not so. You state, above:

BTW, you will be happy to know that the police reports reliably, through the media, all instances of rape-by-strangers and serial rapists

First, all stranger rapes are not reported to the police.

Second, if the police are compelled by law to report them to the media, the media is not compelled to actually report this news to the public in a way that would translate to you knowing how common rapes through break-ins are.

I again ask, how would you know?

The answer is you wouldn't. You simply have nothing to go on but your own beliefs. It's as if you are saying, Well, I never heard of that, therefore it must be very rare!

Scott M. said...

And who cares how statistically likely a break-in rape is! That's cold comfort to the victim.

Who cares how statistically prevalent it is? You should. Everyone should. It allows people to recognize that it is a problem.

It does a disservice to women to needlessly frighten them by saying that, chances are, themselves or someone they know will have their home broken into and raped. It trivializes the experiences of women who are victims of serious sexual abuse and derails a serious discussion of the topic when you lump in sexual and physical violence.

You're right. The effect to the victim is horrible. I know people who have been victims of sexual abuse (in each case from people known to the victim). I know someone who still, many years later, cannot sleep for weeks at a time because of one event. I am not trivializing rape (as appears to be the common belief here).

It seems that many people believe that fear-mongering is a good way to keep rape in the news. It's effective (the media loves a good scare) but it causes needless fear. If 30% of people are sexually assulted and 75% of the cases of rape are from people you know, and of the remaining 25% only 5% are break and enters, than only 0.375% are affected by this. And that is using statistics that include attempted rape (still disgusting, don't get me wrong).

It doesn't mean you shouldn't lock your door in an apartment -- in fact, if you look closely, you'll see I support that. But it does mean that you shouldn't be scared to think that if you leave it unlocked one time you'll be raped.

And it shouldn't be made out to be prevalent, nor "not infrequent".

L-girl said...

I am not trivializing rape (as appears to be the common belief here).

I don't think this.

But it does mean that you shouldn't be scared to think that if you leave it unlocked one time you'll be raped.

And I NEVER, EVER said or implied anything like that!!

What a completely ridiculous statement to throw in.

Once again, I ask you the same question I have been asking you over and over, which you have not been answering. You claim that rapes through break-ins are "extremely infrequent". (Your words.) How would you know this?

My point is that you would not know it, just as most people would not know how common, for example, incest is, or domestic violence. It's not talked about in public, it's not necessarily reported in a public way - and so, many people would be shocked to know just how frequently it does happen.

It's not fear-mongering. It's reality.

It does no harm to lock your door, whether you live in a house or an apartment. As Canrane said, why make it easy for someone to walk in?

Personally, I think we've run out of this discussion. Later, all.

Scott M. said...

But it does mean that you shouldn't be scared to think that if you leave it unlocked one time you'll be raped.

And I NEVER, EVER said or implied anything like that!!

What a completely ridiculous statement to throw in.


I never said you said that, nor have I implied it. I have said that by overstating the occurance of stranger-based break-in rape it leads to unreasonably fear.

Once again, I ask you the same question I have been asking you over and over, which you have not been answering. You claim that rapes through break-ins are "extremely infrequent". (Your words.) How would you know this?

I've been trying to use both your statistics and Stats Can's statistics to come up with a percentage. What's wrong with that?

Personally, I think we've run out of this discussion. Later, all.

I'm sorry I upset you sufficiently that you're not willing to carry on the convesation. I understand the frustration -- I'm experiencing it too. Sigh.

Take care everyone.

redsock said...

Does anyone really think that robbers go door-to-door, try the door and say "Drat! Foiled again by the lock!" until such a time as they come across an unlocked door? Please. If they want in they can come in. Why have them break things and cause even more damage?

Um, when I was quite young and foolish, a friend and I went out late at night looking for cars from which to "liberate" cassette tapes. Trying doors to see which were locked was exactly how we did it. If the doors were locked, we moved on.

Jusy sayin'.

... oh and if anyone reported some tapes stolen, I never read about it in the newspaper.

L-girl said...

I'm sorry I upset you sufficiently that you're not willing to carry on the convesation.

Scott, I'm not upset at all. Not at all.

I'm bowing out of the conversation because we're going around in circles, repeating ourselves - so I think we've reached the limits of what can be said on this topic. That's all.

Have a good night.

L-girl said...

Um, when I was quite young and foolish, a friend and I went out late at night looking for cars from which to "liberate" cassette tapes. Trying doors to see which were locked was exactly how we did it. If the doors were locked, we moved on.

And, when you were slightly older but had young and foolish housemates, one of them left the front door unlocked, and thieves robbed you blind.

I won't say the house was "broken into" - since there was no need to break in. The robbers simply walked in, thanks to an unlocked door.

This was in beautiful Burlington, Vermont, folks. Not big, bad New York City.

Scott M. said...

Um, when I was quite young and foolish, a friend and I went out late at night looking for cars from which to "liberate" cassette tapes. Trying doors to see which were locked was exactly how we did it. If the doors were locked, we moved on.

You're trying to draw a parallel between breaking into a car for tapes and breaking into a house to commit a rape? Perhaps not the best comparison.

... oh and if anyone reported some tapes stolen, I never read about it in the newspaper.

Unfortunately, the Jane Doe case did not involve a mere stealing of tapes from a car. As such, the police are not obligated to inform the public about cassette thefts(thankfully).

However, if you did want to delve into the number of reported stranger rapes you could do so on the Toronto Police's web site here:
http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/newsreleases/.

Have a good night.

You too. Take care.

Jenjenjigglepants said...

RE: the original post: L-girl your reminiscence about moving from building to building in NY without going outside reminded me of a movie "waydowntown". Alot of the downtown buildings in Calgary are joined up by over-ground pedestrian bridges (called +15's)which inspired this flick.

Cheers, tripleJpants

Brief plot outline from www.waydowntown.com:
Tom, Sandra, Randy and Curt have all staked a month's salary on a bet to see who can stay indoors the longest. It helps that they live and work in a city's downtown where virtually all of the buildings are connected by a maze of glassed-in bridges. Why, with all of the office towers, shopping malls and apartment buildings joined, they could stay inside until they retire! If it wasn't driving them all slightly crazy.
Tom and Randy came up with the idea of the bet. Sandra joined to show she was a team player and Curt...well, there's just something wrong with Curt.

Jenjenjigglepants said...

Oh! also, saw your post re: paralympics and wondered if you'd seen "murderball"? Excellent doc about quadrapeligic wheelchair rugby that might suit your interests. Would be interested to hear your opinion. JJJP

L-girl said...

Hi JJJP!

I loved Murderball. We saw it in NYC as soon as it came out (very unusual for me - I rent everything). I blogged about it here and here.

I'm so glad you've seen it! They've had a really hard time getting distribution for it.

redsock said...

Scott said to me:

You're trying to draw a parallel between breaking into a car for tapes and breaking into a house to commit a rape? Perhaps not the best comparison.

You've obviously forgotten already, but what you wrote had to do with robbery, not rape:

At 2:14 pm, you wrote (my little emphasis):

Does anyone really think that robbers go door-to-door, try the door and say "Drat! Foiled again by the lock!" until such a time as they come across an unlocked door? Please.

My real-life example was the exact same thing you wrote in your comment this afternoon -- a thief going around, trying door after door, ignoring the locked ones until he finds one that is unlocked.

Sheesh.

M@ said...

Well, maybe this conversation's dead now, but a couple of things occurred to me.

First -- and this is true in all the Toronto businesses I've worked in, big and small -- buildings tend to be locked down after hours and on weekends. In fact, I remember having to devise elaborate schemes at my earlier consulting job to be able to get dinner -- with only one elevator pass between about five of us, and no cell phones (this was in 1998, before cell phones were cheap, or before we were all rich, I guess). After 6 pm, it was next to impossible to move around a building without a pass.

Second, I am often unreasonably annoyed when my wife hits the power locks on the car as soon as we get off the Gardiner. I don't know why she does it -- seriously, what are the chances of being carjacked? I drive a freakin' Hyundai fer Pete's -- but it annoys the hell outta me. Maybe it just bugs me that other people I care about aren't as secure in the world as I am. (Surprise surprise, no one's as happy as the white-collar white guy.)

Anyhow, just thought I'd bring up these points. I hope the job is going okay. My TO time these days has been frustrating and exhausting these days. Why did I agree to this line of work, again?!

L-girl said...

The conversation may be dead but I got your comment. :)

Your wife is smart to reflexively lock the car doors. That way she's in the habit of doing that when she's alone, too.

First -- and this is true in all the Toronto businesses I've worked in, big and small -- buildings tend to be locked down after hours and on weekends.

Oh, interesting. Allan works weekends in one of the biggest downtown office buidlings, and I didn't get that impression. [Allan?]

M@ said...

I'm kind of glad I didn't get involved in the stuff from comments 10-40 or so. :)

Well another side of the story is that my wife was brought up in a house connected to the family business, a variety store. Amazingly (to me), people periodically tried to break in to steal a few hundred dollars' worth of cigarrettes. 24/7 home security was a focal point for her family. So yes, she's mentally well-prepared I guess you would say...

And as for the after-hours building security, it's often quite subtle -- typically egress seems unaffected by the security but access is made reasonably difficult. Then again, I've never had to worry about personal security much so I may not have really pay attention to the weaknesses of the system.

redsock said...

My building (Bank of Montreal) doesn't feel locked down.

Not all of the elevators are in service -- only half of the ones on one of the two levels -- but you can apparently walk all over the PATH.

On Saturday and Sunday, I park on a level to which I can walk, using a staircase that seems like fire stairs. ... That still strikes me as a little weird.

I do wish some of the food places were open on the weekends, but I guess the building is just too empty.

James said...

Not all of the elevators are in service -- only half of the ones on one of the two levels -- but you can apparently walk all over the PATH.

Many years ago I found myself stuck overnight in Toronto without a place to stay (this was when I lived in London). I ended up spending a few hours sleeping on the Bloor subway, a few hours sleeping under the Old Mill bridge, and a few hours sleeping in the Path. Didn't have any trouble, though I wasn't that well rested the next morning.

Fortunately, this was in August...

impudent strumpet said...

Many government buildings, especially in the Ottawa area, have exactly the kind of security you (i.e. the blog author) described. You have to have an electronic pass, or, if you're a visitor, you have to talk to security and they'll check to see if you're expected.

For the person whose wife always locks the car doors: I don't know if you remember, but in summer 2002 there was a rash of carjackings in Toronto where people would force their way into unlocked cars stopped at stoplights, sometimes rob or rape the occupants, sometimes force them at gunpoint to go to ATMS and withdraw all their money etc. I distinctly remember this because we passed the quiet hours at my summer job that year thinking of intricate and ridiculous plans for foiling the car-jackers. I don't remember what exactly happened, but I assume they caught the people or they gave up or something since we don't hear about carjackings any more. So your wife is reacting to something that was a very real threat relatively recently, it isn't just abstract paranoia.