HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Yearly, there are new legal guidelines on the books meant to be robust on crime. However there are nonetheless issues about crime and homelessness in locations in Waikiki and Chinatown.
Purse snatchings impressed a brand new state legislation, enacted by the governor, offering tougher penalties for crimes against people 60 and older.
“We won’t tolerate their concentrating on of the kupuna in our neighborhood, essentially the most susceptible members of the neighborhood,” stated state Rep. Gregg Takayama of Pearl Metropolis, on the ceremony the place Gov. David Ige signed the invoice into legislation.
However new legal guidelines can solely accomplish that a lot.
Crime preventing additionally takes eyes and ears, in order the pandemic winds down, the Waikiki Neighborhood Patrol has resumed hitting the streets.
“You need police presence and police visibility, however the neighborhood additionally, they’re with us,” stated Honolulu Police Maj. Mark Cricchio, who oversees the Waikiki district.
“I actually consider a patrolling police officer is one of the best deterrent to crime, whether or not it’s right here in Waikiki, whether or not it’s in Chinatown, Hawaii Kai or Haleiwa. Police have to have a presence,” stated Honolulu Metropolis Council chair, Tommy Waters.
Police may also be stepping up patrols in Chinatown. The mayor’s workplace stated it’s working with HPD on plans for 24-hour foot patrols there.
Waters additionally stated town would possibly have the ability to use COVID aid finds to rent lots of of recent officers.
“We bought an inflow of cash via the American Rescue Plan,” he stated. “I believe it might be the proper alternative to place that cash towards our police division, and even fixing the homeless downside.”
Precisely how town would resolve the homeless downside is unclear. Regardless of the sweeps, the homeless maintain coming, at the same time as guests return to Waikiki.
“Certainly one of our issues as residents is what are a number of the issues that we will do to assist people who find themselves on the streets get assist,” stated Waikiki resident Daphne Rice, who often takes half locally patrol.
“Chinatown, Waikiki — you could have plenty of homeless. However you even have drug habit, plenty of psychological well being points. And you’ll arrest folks day-after-day, however there’s going to be extra folks to take their place,” stated College of Hawaii legislation professor, Ken Lawson.
“The remedy, the companies ware there. The cash is there. It’s simply placing it in the correct locations,” stated state Sen. Sharon Moriwake, whose district consists of Waikiki.
Whereas the politicians work on funding and coverage points, there’s one vivid spot in Hawaii’s tourism mecca.
“The notion that, ‘Oh, crime is up,’ that’s furthest from the reality,” stated HPD’s Cricchio. “I run the numbers from day by day, weekly, month-to-month, yearly. And we’re down so far as crime in Waikiki.”
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