On the topic of perceptions of crime, this infographic is very revealing: http://isps.yale.edu/sites/default/files/publication/2013/12/48yearsofcrime_final_ispsworkingpaper023.pdf (page 14) The West Town community had an average homicide rate in the 30s per 100k in the 1980s, which was the same as the homicide rate in South Shore and West Englewood in the 1980s and the same rate as South Shore and Woodlawn in the 2000s. So these figures definitely support your point above.