News lessons

City and Crime

Crime in the city of Clio hit a 30-year low last year. «This is absolutely wonderful for our citizens, our businesses, and our visitors,» said Police Chief Louis Gates. Clio has a population of 28,000, but it has at least 30 gangs. The gangs make most of their money from dealing drugs and offering “protection.” They also commit violent crimes, such as murder, battery, and rape.

There were 1,486 thefts last year. Most of the thefts involved cars. Thieves also robbed the people at gunpoint or pickpocketed them. They broke into houses and businesses at the alarming rate of two a day two years ago, but that rate was down to only one a day last year. «That’s a 50-percent decrease in one year,» beamed Gates. «I think the officers deserve a big pat on the back. Even better, maybe they’ll get that 10-percent raise that they are all hoping for next fiscal year.»

Citing an example of how the police force has helped reduce crime, Gates talked about bicycle thefts. «For years and years, kids were locking up their bikes at bike stands in front of schools, libraries, and malls. About 10 percent of the time, the kids would come out of the school or wherever and discover that their bike was no longer there. Someone had cut the lock and stolen their bike. We wracked our brains trying to find a solution to this problem. Finally, at the beginning of last year, we hit upon it. We simply removed most of the bike stands. Then the bicycle theft rate came down quickly.”

Most cities in the state have similar problems. They all involve too many people, too much crime, too few police, and too little funding. These problems are part and parcel of civilization everywhere. They might diminish, but they will probably never disappear. All people can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst.


Remember vocabulary

absolutely adv. абсолютно
battery n. аккумулятор
beam n. луч
cite v. цитировать
civilization n. цивилизация
commit v.
decrease v. уменьшать(ся)
deserve v. заслуживать
diminish v. уменьшиться
fiscal adj. налоговый
involve v. вовлекать
pickpocket n. карманное воровство
population n. население
reduce v. уменьшать
theft n. кража
thief n. вор
violent adj. жестокий
wrack n. обломки


Answer the questions

What hit a 30-year low last year in Clio?
Who is Louis Gates?
What is the population of Clio?
How many gangs does Clio have?
How do the gangs make most of their money?
What kinds of violent crimes do the gangs commit?
What was the rate of house and business break-ins last year?
According to Gates, what do the police officers deserve?
Who are hoping for a 10-percent raise next fiscal year?
How did the police solve the bicycle theft problem?
Was last year a record year for Clio? [Note: «Clio» rhymes with «Ohio»]
Is Mr. Gates the chief of police in Clio?
Do 28,000 people live in Clio?
Are there more than 30 gangs in Clio?
Do the gangs protect people from drug dealers?
Do the gangs spend most of their time jaywalking and littering?
Were there almost 2,000 thefts last year?
Did police get a 10-percent raise last year?
Do police hope for a 10-percent raise next calendar year?
Do most cities in the state have too many people and too few police?


Ask questions

Louis Gates is the chief of police. (Who)
Clio’s population is 28,000. (What)
There are at least 30 gangs in Clio. (How many)
There were 1,486 thefts last year. (How many)
Thieves broke into two structures a day. (How many)
The decrease was 50 percent. (What)
The officers deserve a pat on the back. (What)
Kids locked up their bikes at bike stands. (Where)
The bike stands were in front of schools and libraries. (What)
The police hit upon the solution at the beginning of last year. (When)