Today we got a very unexpected notice pushed through our letter slot, an "assault and theft enquiry", from the Grampian Police. Apparently on Wednesday, a man forced his way into the home of an elderly woman living a few blocks from here. He pretended to offer goods catalogs and, once inside, assaulted the woman and stole her handbag. The letter gave a description of the perpetrator and requested any information local residents might have that could lead to the apprehension of this individual.
While the account was certainly disturbing, especially since it occurred in such close proximity to our own home, we already knew that crime existed in Aberdeen. Unlike most major US cities though, Aberdeen does not see a lot of violent crimes with firearms, probably due to stricter gun laws. However, it still experiences a fair share of theft fueled by a thriving drug culture. The letter reinforced to both Trey and me the need for vigilance and common sense safety measures as we go about our daily lives in an urban setting, but it also encouraged us in the positive relationship that the police have here with the general public. Police officers are not just law enforcers. They view themselves as public servants. We have benefited on a number of occasions, particularly when we first moved here, from their directions and knowledge of bus routes. They are here to help, not just dole out tickets, a welcome and pleasant surprise.