The Criminal Influence

Crime has been around since the beginning of society. With these criminals, comes their influence on the people they interact with. Although the people that they associate with may not be bad, they are still affected by the encounter. These criminals affect the safety of our streets and sidewalks, taking away the natural beauty of the area, the avid flow of traffic crossing the streets, and depleting the overall value of the surrounding area. Using both Jacobs and Hammett's works to examine this gallery, interpret how criminals and the influence they bring with them disrupts the flow of the environment.

"There is some absolute amount of crime in a given city"(Pg. 33, Jacobs). Within a city you can never be too sure of who is in it, what has happened there, and what is to come. People that believe they can get away with anything bury their criminal secrets within that city, sometimes allowing them to come back to have a sporadic influence. "Then she makes the play and I know I'm sitting pretty. And that's the way it went till you started digging it up again” (Pg 114, Hammett)
“ it happened simple enough. ….I shot him, and there he is“ (Pg. 43, Hammett). Throughout society there are bad people, and these people roam the streets as if they are one of the good guys, leaving their victims clueless as to who is surrounding them. "Today barbarism has taken over many city streets, or people fear it has, which comes to much the same thing in the end" (Pg. 30, Jacobs). This fear leads to people feeling uncomfortable or unsafe, even on their own streets.  
Jacobs points out that street safety is promoted by the clear division of public versus private streets. Without being able to know the difference one could get themselves into trouble, or witness a crime while walking down one of these dangerous street. "The first time I heard I damned near fainted." (Pg. 128, Hammett)
People are mysterious beings, and you never truly know what someone is capable of doing, or has done before. "I’ve arranged a killing or two in my time, when they were necessary. but this is the first time I’ve ever got the fever" (Pg. 154, Hammett). Once a person does these criminal acts they are more likely to do them again, sometimes being taken over by it and becoming something they are not. Not being your own watchman can cause serious trouble for some people.
Crime has many repercussions, one of which is when it tears relationships apart. People could either be involved with criminals, or be(are) breaking away from criminal ties."Don’t be silly. you know I’m not going to let you walk out on me" (Pg 96, Hammett). The influence of crime works the other way as well, with people trying to help criminals and save them. "Los Angeles' crime figures are flabbergasting" (Pg. 32, Jacobs), but with the number of good people in the world, we strive to make a change and help people.
Public streets are a place for people to gather, travel, and converse on. "Streets and their sidewalks, the main public places of a city, are its most vital organs" (Pg. 29, Jacobs). But when people take away the aspect of safety they affect the flow of traffic that crosses those streets, resulting in a change in dynamics for the whole area. “Your fat chief of police tried to assassinate me last night. I dont like that. im just mean enough to want to ruin him for it. Now im going to have my fun”(Pg. 64, Hammett). Thieves and murderers lurk all over, and sometimes the crimes happen between two criminal parties. This effect causes the criminals of the area to be pitted against each other making the area detrimentally worse.
"Like that my friend was leaving" (Pg. 31, Jacobs). People will not always be the same, and sometimes their change is not for the better. "Everything was blurred infront of my eyes, like I was crying. Maybe I was. I don’t remember shooting" (Pg. 61, Hammett). Once people become criminal or have that influence they chance and never see anything the same way they have.
"The bedrock attribute of a successful city district is that a person must feel personally safe and secure on the street among all these strangers" (pg 30). Not knowing who you're around can be a scary thought for most people, but we have to learn to get over that fear. By cleaning up the streets people can make it a friendlier place."Stop yelling at me. I’ll give you nothing except a good job of city-cleaning. Thats what you bargained for, and thats what you’re going to get" (Pg. 64, Hammett). Op understands what it takes to have a safe city, and will do what he needs to to make the streets safe.
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