2004_09_askjogging.jpg.jpgI've been running around Central Park at night a lot lately, since it's nice and I can go around in circles, meaning I don't have to walk back. But, much as I hate to sound paranoid and be my mother, I'm starting to get kind of scared, especially around the reservoir. After 9:30 there's rarely people there, and the other day a police car stopped me and asked me if I'd seen someone running away. So I kinda freaked out. Please assuage my fears and tell me that there's never any crime around the reservoir area.
- Daniel, Manhattan

Although the crime rate in New York City has been falling for the past 15 years, we can't tell you that there are no crimes whatsoever in Central Park. The crime statistics for Central Park tell us that there have been 2 rapes, 18 robberies, 9 felonious assaults, 3 burglaries, and 40 grand larcenies during 2004 to date.

We think you can never be too careful. You shouldn't live your life in a state of paranoia, but you should exercise safety precautions at all times. If your spidey-sense is telling you that jogging alone at night near the reservoir may not be the safest thing, then don't do it! Listen to your instincts. Our safety tips:

- Try to jog during daylight hours, or find a jogging buddy and go together.

- Be alert and aware of your surroundings. We understand how great it can be to block out the city with headphones, but this is really a no-no when jogging alone. Someone could easily sneak up on you and surprise you.

- Why not take a self-defense class? You'll learn basic self-defense techniques and be reminded to remain alert.

- Report any suspicious activity to the police immediately. You might want to consider carrying a cell phone with you if you must jog alone.

Better safe than sorry, right? Please be careful, and happy jogging.