NEW ORLEANS — Crime is up in the city, with 13 homicides in the first 12 days of the year. The city’s also been plagued with a string of car break-ins downtown, many of them during the Pelicans and Saints games.
City leaders and residents are frustrated and trying to seek solutions to reduce crime. Wednesday, Mayor Cantrell announced a new Violence Reduction Task Force. Crime specialists tell WWL, plans, and pro-activity like the task force are really the only way to significantly reduce crime.
The city council has also met to find ways to address the constant window smashing. Many people, both city leaders, and residents have thrown out suggestions for quick fixes like leaving your windows open, hiring security guards, or putting up cameras in the lots.
Justin Brown, a criminal justice consultant, says many of these quick solutions may make a small difference, but they likely won’t deter most criminals.
“We’ve seen as of recent that cameras don’t really matter, to be honest with you. It may matter to a small majority. I’d say having cameras [is better] than don’t have cameras because you can try to identify the person or try to identify these groups of people who are doing multiple burglaries and maybe the next camera can catch something that this camera didn’t. So cameras are very important but for some, it will stop them? No, they’re going to put a mask on put gloves on, and try to defeat the camera,” Brown said.
The city council is proposing parking lots have attendants during big events. Brown says security guards could help.
“I think it’s important, they could have security guards that are better than the NOPD but I think security guards at every lot are important. They’re charging 50, 60 dollars a car that’s a lot of money to be taking in but if they want to protect their customers they need to hire somebody,” Brown said. “Y’all are generating money yes it’s going to take some out of your pocket but if you want customers to come there if you want customers to feel safe parking in those parking lots I highly suggest hiring somebody.”
Brown says the best way to deter criminals and lower these crimes is for city leaders and community members to come together on one plan.
“For me, the criminal justice system has to work together. The police can’t do it on their own, the DA can’t do it on their own, the mayor can’t do it on her own, and no one can do it on their own. So I think the plan should be for everyone gets in the room and talk because everyone’s pointing fingers at this point so get in a room lock the doors and come to a plan together no one’s leaving until we all agree on something,” Brown said.
He adds it’s important for the residents to also be included in that plan and buy into it as well. Brown says if the residents decide to come together and report crimes and help the police department, it would deter people from committing these crimes because they will know they can’t get away with it.
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