This Viewpoint Map distills viewpoints to a digestible format to enable calm consideration, undistracted by people “arguing at you.”

In this case, below are Miami Beach residents’ perspectives on crime levels in 2021.

You may:

Our reporting does not imply our support for any view.


SUMMARY OF ALL PERSPECTIVES GATHERED

(No specific order)

People who feel crime has worsened blame these causes (summary, click for detail):
Failed leadership: either the Mayor, Commissioners and/or City Manager are to blame.
Tourist quality: we are attracting the wrong type of visitor.
Policing numbers — not enough police presence.
Policing politics — political correctness and lack of support ties police hands.
Policing tactics — using the wrong policing methods. We could try “broken windows” or other approach.
Policing tolerance — department fails to enforce many laws.
Policing location — officers not deployed in right areas.
Policing inaction — sometimes officers seem indifferent.
Courts leniency: prosecutors or judges not sufficiently convicting or punishing.
Homelessness: failing to address the homeless/mentally ill in the community.
National problem: this is part of a worsening issue across the nation, not just in Miami.
Conspiracy: some want to remake the city to enrich developers.
Ocean Drive: closing to vehicles has worsened crime.
Last call: liquor sales go too late.
People who feel crime has NOT worsened, offer these alternatives ( summary, click for detail):
Nothing’s Changed: factually speaking, crime has not meaningfully increased in Miami Beach.
Only Temporary: the increase is temporary, related to pandemic impact on income and travel.
It’s Relative: crime may be worse, but Miami Beach remains safe; don’t overreact.
Personal Experience: they have not themselves encountered worsening crime.
Worse Problems: crime may be worse, but other local problems are more serious.
Media exaggeration: the media need sensationalism to get people’s attention.
Social Media: online sharing makes crime appear worse than it is.
Conspiracy: some want us to think crime is worse, to weaken property values.



DETAILS ON ALL PERSPECTIVES GATHERED

Attributed comments are Miami residents (with permission) unless otherwise indicated. Unattributed are paraphrases (not verbatim ) of sentiment expressed in Miami Beach-focused online communities.

People who feel crime has worsened blame these causes (Details):

Failed leadership: either the Mayor, Commissioners and/or City Manager are to blame.
“We need a new mayor and commissioners. Current crop is not getting the job done.”

“The elected officials don’t come to the entertainment district and regularly walk it. They don’t advocate loudly and with determination for cleaning up the area and empowering the police department to do its job.”

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Tourist quality: we are attracting the wrong type of visitor.
“The crux of the issue is the type of visitor the city is promoting itself to.”

“The issue we need to address is, how can we return Miami Beach to the status it enjoyed as a coveted destination for high-spending tourists that behave well? If we fix that, other issues like crime will take care of themselves.”

“We have been telling the world that our city is a lawless, all-night, do-as-you-please party mecca.” Former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine.

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Policing numbers — not enough police presence.
“Lack of police presence is the most serious issue.”

“The deterrent we need is simply more cops, out on the streets, walking their beat.”

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Policing politics — political correctness and lack of support ties police hands.
“The current trend of political correctness causes this hatred of police and calls to defund them. Soon enough, who will want to be an officer?”

“Drop the political correctness and fix this chaos.”

“The problem the Department has is primarily that the city government isn’t supporting it.”

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Policing tactics — using the wrong policing methods. We could try “broken windows” or other approach.
“Why don’t we return to community policing, where everyone knew and interacted with the officers daily?”

“Broken Windows approach is shown to work in situations like we are in.”

“It really seems we need the cops more on foot patrols, walking their beats.”

“We need to focus on the drug dealing. Get rid of those minor deals that are everywhere and that will fix our problem.”

“More undercover cops in bad areas?” …. “Bridge checkpoints?” …. “Surveillances cameras?” …. “More lighting?”

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Policing tolerance — department fails to enforce many laws.
We’ve got gangs conducting drug deals on our street; they are human trafficking, there is sex trade and officers are not enforcing these laws. Criminals think they can get away with anything.”

“The Department orders its officers to overlook certain crimes.”

“Zero tolerance is the key to keeping order. This includes trespassing and loitering. Heavy fine or arrest for everything.”

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Policing location — officers not deployed in right areas.
“The Department is not assigning its officers where they are needed.”

“Police presence is lacking in <name an area>; we need more patrols on foot there.”

“Our neighborhoods in the north and mid beach have lost police presence, because they were reassigned to the Entertainment District.”

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Policing inaction — sometimes officers seem indifferent.
“I’ve seen too much police inaction.”

“Some officers aren’t enforcing laws; it seems like they just don’t care?”

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Policing inaction — sometimes officers seem indifferent.
“The courts need to be tougher or policing is not going to make any difference.”

“The State Attorney is not prosecuting. There are no consequences for criminals.”

“Some of these offenders have been arrested hundreds of times without being assessed an effective penalty. It’s like a spinning door.”

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Homelessness: failing to address the homeless/mentally ill in the community.
“Miami Beach is full of homeless, many needing mental help.”

“The Homeless Outreach Unit needs more resources to help the mentally ill off the streets and to facilities where there is care.”

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National problem: this is part of a worsening issue across the nation, not just in Miami.
“It’s dangerous all over right now. We haven’t yet finished the negative economic impact of the pandemic. Things may get worse before improving.”

“Crime is jumping across America; it’s not just a problem in Miami.”

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Conspiracy: some want to remake the city to enrich developers.
“They allow the decline to continue in order to suppress property values so their developer supporters can buy things cheap, then the city will finally invest in cleaning things up.”

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Ocean Drive: closing to vehicles has worsened crime.
“We need to reopen Ocean Drive to cars to tamp down the mob gathering that brings its own liquor and drugs to just party in the open street.”

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Last call: liquor sales go too late.
“A 5:00 last call is the kind of thing that sucks in visitors who like to hang out in the type of city we don’t want to be.”

“Research has established a clear connection between liquor and crime.

“What a surprise, our City creates a 24-hour hard party destination, and that area creates a mountain of crime and disorder.” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, email to residents, 29 September 2021.

“It’s not that all the crime happens during those wee hours of the morning. It is not fair that a few special interests that make generous campaign donations are allowed to damage the Miami Beach brand.”
Former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine

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People who feel crime has NOT worsened, offer these alternative explanations (Details):

Nothing’s Changed: factually speaking, crime has not meaningfully increased in Miami Beach.
“Statistically the numbers don’t add up. Citywide crime has not gone up. It has at times gone down. However, the perception is that we are in a dangerous place. And people don’t feel safe.” City Commission Group 1 candidate Raquel Pacheco (who, for clarity, does support taking action to reduce crime.)

“I think that our concerns are valid even if the actual crime rate has flat-lined or has been going down in some categories [though] It doesn’t change that it doesn’t feel safe.” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber (who, for clarity, has advanced proposals to reduce crime.)

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Only Temporary: the increase is temporary, related to pandemic impact on income and travel.
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It’s Relative: crime may be worse, but Miami Beach remains safe; don’t overreact.
“It is safe in South Beach. We frequent many parts of the beach night or day. Just be aware of your surroundings.”

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Personal Experience: they have not themselves encountered worsening crime.
“I have never had any problems and I live right on Ocean Drive and walk around everywhere.”

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Worse Problems: crime may be worse, but other local problems are more serious.
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Media exaggeration: the media need sensationalism to get people’s attention.
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Social Media: online sharing makes crime appear worse than it is.
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Conspiracy: some want us to think crime is worse, to weaken property values.
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Survey Results (once survey launched)

What you’ve read above is written explanations of people’s reasons for believing what they do regarding crime levels in Miami Beach.

We wanted to know how many people held each of these views — which have the most support. Accordingly, we conducted a survey in October 2021. The intent was to (a) identify the full range of rationales people hold for their views and (b) roughly assess which of those rationales are most commonly shared.

Methodology details are at bottom. Be aware this was not a scientific survey; results are directional, not conclusive and should be considered in the context of broader data sources. We make no representations about its accuracy nor fitness for any purpose.

With those caveats, of those identifying as residing or working in Miami Beach, these were their views:

Observations:

  • Coming soon

Notes on Methodology:

The survey was conducted October xx-xx, 2021 within Miami-focused communities on NextDoor, Reddit and Facebook using surveybots executed through Facebook Messenger and XXX. xx respondents participated. After polling where they lived, the survey inquired whether they xxx. Based upon that answer, they were presented with a broad list of alternative rationales supporting the position they chose and asked to indicate which five among the list most closely aligned with their own views (the list of rationales differed based upon their answer to the first question and was randomly sorted each time). They were then offered the opportunity to additionally elaborate with free-form comments. If they conveyed rationales that were not included in the list earlier presented, those were then added to said list for future respondents to select from.

Notable limitations of the survey:

  • Sample size.
    • TBD.
  • There are demo- and psycho-graphic skews associated with the survey pool being online-only.


This is an initiative of Project LISTEN, within e.pluribus.us. Learn more about Project LISTEN.

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About This Site

Divisive partisanship is preventing us from accomplishing “jack.”

Americans’ propensity to quickly leap to negative prejudgements of ideological opponents poisons our ability to interact with the teammates we need to advance our personal and national goals.

We’re going to fix that.

Thoughts from across the aisle...

“Candidates who listen to voters in the middle are more likely to reach across the aisle and to get things done.”

— Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor, NYC

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