Local News

Austin Police Urge People to Stop Walking Alone Downtown

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Austin police are warning visitors and residents that they’ve noticed an increase in crime in the Entertainment District toward people who are walking alone. Senior Patrol Officer Pedro Loureiro told KVUE, “We see both male and females walking by themselves in high crime areas, they’re looking down on their phones because they’re texting, their heads aren’t on a swivel, they’re not situationally aware of what’s going on around them – if people are following them.”

But the incidents of people being attacked or mugged are not only happening along downtown streets. They’re also taking place in the middle of the day on jogging trails, and police are hoping that people will increase their focus on the world around them.

The University of Texas campus has an organization, the Students United for Rape Elimination, that’s formed a program called SURE WALK where students can call to get an assisted walk home from 10:00 PM – 2:00 AM, so don’t have to walk from campus to their residence by themselves late at night. Unfortunately, outside of UT campus, Austin residents feel like they have no other choice than to walk to their car, bus or home alone.

Even though Austinites often feel safe and somewhat invincible in their own city, security and terrorism expert with Stratfor, Fred Burton, told KVUE that Austin “is not the town it was 20 years ago.” Walking to a car with a buddy is becoming mandatory in this growing city.