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How I became a crime statistic on a sunny afternoon

IT WAS on a sunny Friday afternoon, as I stood in the doorway of the Evening Herald's building sorting out what music to listen to on my iPod, that I became a crime statistic.

I've worked in town for more than five years now and had been warned to keep my wits about me, because essentially you are a walking target in certain parts of the city.

Excess

This was good advice, because in the blink of an eye, a man wearing a hoodie whipped my prized iPod out of my hand and sped off.

I chased him, but lost my footing, and a taxi driver stopped to see if I was okay.

He told me to go straight to the guards, and even though you will hear lots of 'victims' articulate the pointlessness of this exercise, it is still the right thing to do.

The garda I met with was great -- she's used to dealing with the fall-out of street crime -- but offered me no false hope about retrieving my iPod.

The loss of the iPod is incidental, although even with insurance I had to pay a €100 excess towards the cost of a new one.

What's much more interesting is that in the seven months since I was mugged, my shiny new iPod has accompanied me only twice on my walks.

I'm also far more cautious about making and taking calls in the street and feel a lot safer with my phone in my pocket.

I also changed the handbag I use, now I have one that crosses over my body instead of just hanging over one shoulder.

Vigilance is the only weapon us ordinary, decent, tax-paying citizens seem to have while out in certain parts of Dublin.

Every day I see gangs of people I want to give a wide berth to -- most of the time the danger is all to do with drink and drugs.

Users and dealers alike seem to have the freedom to operate in broad daylight in certain parts of Dublin.

Ask anyone who works on the north side of the Liffey they will tell you that this has become the norm.

In fairness, there is an increased visual garda presence in the city, and that makes my walks better.

But it's a very fine line, so the new iPod remains chez Dee for now.


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