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TAMPA, Fla. – Floridians told Fox News that violence hitting cities across the U.S., including a recent subway attack in New York, has them thinking twice about visiting the Big Apple.
“I definitely wouldn’t feel safe in the city,” Madison, a University of Tampa student who grew up on Long Island, told Fox News.
“It’s just crazy what’s going on, especially what just happened on the subway,” she added. “It’s just nuts right now. Not safe.”
Makayla, also a UT student, agreed with Madison.
“My brother works in the city, and he tells me all these crazy stories, so that’s definitely a no for me,” she told Fox News.
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Madison said of Tampa: “I think that it’s a pretty safe area, but at the same time, I don’t think I would walk around alone at night in the city.”
Randy, from Tampa, told Fox News: “I’ve lived here my entire life. I’ve never had a problem. I’m out and about all the time. It seems really safe to me.”
“I feel like wherever there is night life, people getting out at 2 or 3 a.m., there is always more of a problem there,” Randy continued.
New York City has faced 112 murders from the beginning of the year through April 17 – more than five times the number of homicides in Tampa, police data from the two cities show.
Earl said he thinks Florida is safer than New York because the Sunshine State prioritizes security.
“The difference is you’ve got an emphasis on law and order and orderly procedures and security in Florida,” Earl told Fox News. “I don’t see that you have that there, and I used to work in New York City for three years.”
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Florida is a popular destination for people looking to escape the Big Apple, a recent Redfin study showed. The number of residents flowing into Tampa has tripled from two years ago, and Miami was the top destination for outgoing New Yorkers, the study found.
“It’s just a lot more chill in Tampa,” one woman, Becky, told Fox News. “We were just in New York, so yeah, definitely feel safer here and more calm.”
Isabelle McDonnell contributed to this report.