New report looks at the safety of Indy public trail system

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -A new report by an Indianapolis law firm is highlighting the crime, or lack thereof, on the Indianapolis’ public trail system.

The report’s release is also prompting officials to remind Hoosiers on the best practices for staying safe.

Attorney Tom Doehrman of law firm Doehrman Buba said his firm released the report as a way of helping to spread useful public information. Doehrman himself is a frequent user of the trail system and says he was interested in how often crimes occur.

“Knowing the risk is part of the job, and always looking at situations and how it could be prevented is part of the job,” Doehrman said.

According to the data, which Doehrman Buba collected from public records, from 2012 to 2017 there were a total of 387 crimes reported by people on the trail system. By the numbers that translate to roughly one 1 report every 4.7 days.

Indy Parks says about 2 million people use the trails each year, which makes the occurrence of crimes seem relatively low, (about 1 person for every 26,000 visitors is a victim). The most common of crimes appears to be Larceny/theft from vehicles assaults were a distant second.

The most common times for crimes to occur on the trails was documented as late afternoon/early evening when the trails were at their busiest, and from 12 a.m. to 2 a.m.

While city officials maintain the odds of any crimes happening on the trails are relatively low, they point out that there are still things you can do to improve your safety.

“We want to make sure folks are taking those precautions whether they’re inside our parks, or on our trails or just wherever they may be,” Ronetta Spaulding, spokesperson for Indy Parks said.

Spaulding, as well as officer with IMPD, recommended the following for maximizing safety while on the trails.

  • Secure valuables (keep them out of view if inside vehicle)
  • Lock your vehicle
  • Pay attention to your surroundings
  • Resist staring at your phone
  • Leave one earbud or headphone out of your ear so you can better hear and react
  • Go in groups
  • Let someone know where you are/are intending to go.
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