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Safety in Poland
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 886
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:20 am    Post subject: Safety in Poland Reply with quote

Just for the sake of discussion I'll point out that a few weeks ago I saw the news report that some guy who murdered a couple in front of a tourist night club/bar in Lodz last summer was sentenced and then last week three people are killed at their home in a gangland-style execution less than 150 meters from my building.

I certainly don't feel any safer here than I do in the States, London, Baku or Kyiv. For that matter, I hear stories from a variety of expats across Poland (and Ukraine and Azerbaijan for that matter) concerning a higher than I would expect number of fights among teachers.

So, on reflection I have to say that I clearly see the actuality of the statistic that violence is more prevalent in Europe.

My suspicion is that when you remove the firearms statistics involving youth gangs and about 8 or 10 cities which are recognized as out-of-control, it's fair to acknowledge that it is at least as, if not more, dangerous than the US. This seems in line with the published statistics.
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oipivo



Joined: 02 Jan 2012
Posts: 158
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't been in Poland long enough to comment, but I've lived in both Prague and Istanbul and would consider them both significantly safer than the US (especially Prague). As long as I avoided the once a year suicide bomb in Istanbul I knew I would be fine.

It's like anywhere else, as long as you keep your wits about you there's a TINY chance anything will happen. Don't be stupid and you'll be fine.
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 886
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oipivo wrote:
I haven't been in Poland long enough to comment, but I've lived in both Prague and Istanbul and would consider them both significantly safer than the US (especially Prague). As long as I avoided the once a year suicide bomb in Istanbul I knew I would be fine.

It's like anywhere else, as long as you keep your wits about you there's a TINY chance anything will happen. Don't be stupid and you'll be fine.


While anecdotes are illustrative and not conclusive, I'm just pointing out that in the last 4+ years overseas, I have heard countless stories of fights on the streets, in parks and at clubs. Then there are the corruption activities, shakedowns, arson cases and such.

Simply, I don't hear these stories back "home" and it worth pointing out that I hang out with the group which certain persons love to claim is so violent, always looking for trouble.

I keep my radar turned on as well, no matter what city or country I am traveling through, but would not agree that TINY is the right description.

Also, I am not just singling out Poland. This experience is based upon Ukraine and Azerbaijan as well.
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 886
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The article on the three murders in Gdansk last week:

Family Executed in Gdansk Old Town
15th March 2013

Gdansk police have described the discovery of the bodies of three members of a family including that of a small child as the most brutal crime they can remember having to deal with.

The bodies of a man, woman and 18-month-old child were discovered in an apartment overlooking the main pedestrian street in Gdansk, ul. Dluga. The man has been named as Adam K., who TVN24 sources claim is one of a number of people named in a case concerning the trading of weapons being led by the Department for Organized Crime and Corruption Appellate Prosecutor’s Office in Gdansk.

Adam K. and his partner were shot at point blank range while the young child, according to unofficial information reported by Gazeta Wyborcza, was killed using the butt of a weapon. The absence of a weapon at the scene seems to rule out suicide and while robbery is also being considered as a motive, no signs of a break-in have been found.

The family is believed to have died on either Wednesday night or Thursday morning. A post-mortem was taking place on Friday and police have released very limited information regarding the incident. Joanna Kowalik-Kosinska, a spokesperson for the Regional Police Headquarters in Gdansk told reporters that the Regional Commander has formed a special group of police to investigate and that the case is being led by the District Prosecutors Office in Gdansk.

Experienced officers told reporters that this is one of the most shocking crimes they have ever been faced with and that the murder of a small baby in such a way is unusual in most vicious gangland feuds.

Officials have denied reports this could be a gangland killing following media reports that Adam K. was known to police. “So far we do not have such information,” Renata Klonowska, head of the District Prosecutor's Office in Gdansk-Downtown, told reporters. “It was a normal family.” The family are reported to have rented the apartment on ul. Dluga for several years and Adam K. worked as an antique dealer trading mostly weapons.

As NPE went to press, TVN24 was reporting that the case has now been taken over by the Appellate Prosecutor’s Office in Gdansk. Officers have launched phone numbers for any information - 0800 677 777 or 58 321 59 30.

http://www.newpolandexpress.pl/polish_news_story-5328-family_executed_in_gdansk_old_town.php
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john123



Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pure scaremongering.

Poland is, relatively, safe.

Regards

John
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 886
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 958
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you take a random city in Poland and compare it with a random city in the US of the same size, the Polish city is bound to have less violent crime. Statistics back this up, and something equivalent is written in every guide book on Poland I've seen, and I've seen quite a few.

Ecocks, the murder you posted is horrific, but it's one incident. The fact that experienced Police officers said it's one of the most shocking crimes they've witnessed tells you something.

Thankfully, Gdansk doesn't have the mass shootings, gang violence and drug violence problems a similar sized city in the US is likely to have.

I've lived in Gdansk and visited many times, as scottie can attest. Fights are far from a rarity there. But it usually comes down to fisticuffs, not guns. You can't say the same about many cities in the US, IMO.
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dynow



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 1033

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mastershake wrote:

Quote:
If you take a random city in Poland and compare it with a random city in the US of the same size, the Polish city is bound to have less violent crime. Statistics back this up.....


do they? i've never looked into it, but like ecocks was saying, it's usually a few really bad a$$ cities in the USA that ramp up the stats, and it's almost always in high minority/poor areas.

if you have statistics like that, i'd like to see it. not denying it, just sayin' it would be interesting to see such a study.
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 886
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You guys just cannot believe that people would write without some sinister, secondary agenda can you?

It's simple. Take it slow.

1. I have lived in the US for over 50 years, been in the Army, a university fraternity, lived in a half-dozen states, 4 of the 10 largest metros in the US (Atlanta, Denver, Irvine-OC and Seattle), taught public high school and was raised on military bases.

2. I have NEVER had anyone murdered within a half-mile of my home, much less a triple murder, an 18 month old beaten to death by an assassin or had fellow recruits, frat brothers or co-workers carry on incessantly about barr-room fights, police shakedowns or street assaults like I have seen and heard in my TEFL time living in Europe.

3. People who live here (Poland, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan) all agree you need to be careful of where your are and the people you come into contacts with as well as that the police authorities are corrupt and focused more on protecting the government than the people.

Based on where I have lived (and it's been pretty representative, hardly sheltered) the crime rate appears lower than Eastern Europe and Central Asia where I have lived in these four plus years. I

Therefore, I DO NOT FEEL ANY SAFER IN POLAND THAN WHEN I LIVED IN THE UNITED STATES.

You can make up whatever you want, bandy about whatever statistics you like or decry my anecdotal experiences versus your own, but that doesn't change anything I said or any conclusion I have drawn.

I have no vested interest in "scaremongering" nor do I gain anything in creating a negative image of any of those countries. In fact, I am the one who pointed out a few other times that this is an amazingly whiny group of TEFL teachers and expats.

Things are what they are.

Nothing more, nothing less.
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simon_porter00



Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 454
Location: Warsaw, Poland

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Such posts are always going to incite various responses however, it seems a little strange to firstly say "Just for the sake of discussion" and then, when your idea is being discussed to then get paranoid saying that those who comment have a "sinister, secondary agenda" and "that doesn't change anything I said or any conclusion I have drawn" which rather defeats the purpose of the discussion in the first place.

Using one example and then seemingly basing your hypothesis on it is a rather imprecise way to make judgments subjectively or otherwise. It might be the case that in the next/past 20 years, nothing other then petty theft has ever happened in your neighbourhood and indeed it was/will be the safest area in the whole of Poland.

Some would say (i.e. various sociologists that you can agree with or not) that allowing yourself to fear crime (or at least deeply worry about) based on one albeit horrific incident is to make yourself a victim of the fear of crime which is in itself a very powerful and debilitating state of mind.

I've lived in Poland for almost 10 years and have not been involved in any 'incidents' that a bit of dialogue got me out of. The only person I know who got beat up was mastershake and that was because he was getting too friendly with a taxi driver (that was the story wasn't it .... Wink ).

That doesn't mean that I don't think Poland is an unsafe place, all places are unsafe - the question is relative to the conditions and surroundings where you live.

*gross generalisation* I'm making the assumption that should I have a disagreement with someone in Poland in the future, it will get into fisticuffs and the likelihood of someone having a blade is there, but the chances that someone is packing heat is not. Ergo (in my mind) I'm safer in Poland/ the UK than the USA.
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simon_porter00



Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 454
Location: Warsaw, Poland

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And on another note - I'd love to get into a debate on gun ownership but having been told that as I'm not American, 'can't understand our freedoms', and other such one liners.
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oipivo



Joined: 02 Jan 2012
Posts: 158
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"... all agree you need to be careful of where your are and the people you come into contacts with..."

I just wanted to mention that every student I've ever had has told me this. Students always think that their cities are dangerous.
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 886
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah well, one man's gross generalization is another's logically deduced conclusion based upon observation and experiences........

And I didn't say that responders had an agenda, I said, they should get used to the fact that some people simply have opinions without a "sinister, secondary agenda". The number of people here who look for trouble is interesting.

As for your comment about "worrying", that's a great example of gross generalization in itself. You take a couple of posts and try to suggest that it is some sort of unhealthy near-obsession which affects the mind. I live my life aware of situations around me, select places based on reasonable security and pay attention when locals folks (in any country) advise that an area is not advised for safety reasons. In reality, few people (except true psychopaths) go places that are questionable unless they are looking for trouble or exceedingly oblivious to the potential for trouble. Who's trying to project some sort of cowboy image with that, "I go wherter I want and will kick ass if anyone looks at me cross-eyed" sort of attitude?

Master Shake addressed me directly and I responded directly. People do that Simon.

It is great that you believe what you believe (even on the guns, but more on that later).

Others don't, whether it is guns, personal safety, abortion, religion, whatever - that's what makes the world go round.

And if you are ever in Gdansk and feel like "discussing" gun ownership, sans an emotional over-investment, I'd be happy to sit and chat on guns. As long as you are actually discussing it rather than just ranting about your pre-conceptions and frustration that people just won't do what you want them to do, we'll have a great time.

We'll pick a spot with some decent beer, maybe some food and, safe.


Last edited by ecocks on Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:36 am; edited 4 times in total
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 886
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oipivo wrote:
"... all agree you need to be careful of where your are and the people you come into contacts with..."

I just wanted to mention that every student I've ever had has told me this. Students always think that their cities are dangerous.


Exactly. Oddly, I know an expat who insisted on walking home (about 4 km) from Old Town at 2:30 AM after an evening's festivities. The two locals with us thought he was crazy.
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simon_porter00



Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 454
Location: Warsaw, Poland

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

up for that and same if you're in Warsaw.

On the beer front, my sister-in-law who now works for Heineken came back from their HQ in Belgium with a suitcase full of beer. Just finished a bottle of Grimbergen biere d'abbaye (8%) for lunch. Looking forward to various dinners along the same line.
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