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Locals and business owners say crime is taking over neighborhoods

People who work and live in the French Quarter say crime is out of control.

NEW ORLEANS — Residents and business owners in the French Quarter say crime is taking over their neighborhood and it's taking a toll on business. They said there needs to be a stronger police presence to help keep people safe and reduce crime.

New Orleanians love their city and so do tourists, but this beautiful city is number one per capita in murders in the country. Residents and business owners say the crime here is out of control.

Lucy Burnett has lived in the French Quarter most of her life, she said for the first time she's concerned for her safety. 

"It's definitely affected our lives down here because you don't want to walk alone," Burnett said.

She said she's having to change her routines because of the crime.

"I don't go out alone and I certainly don't go out at night... "I'm starting to worry about it in the daytime," Burnett said.

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Christian Pendleton from Brennan's Restaurant and representing the Louisiana Restaurant Association said the record high crime rates are making it difficult to find employees, and that the restaurant is short more than 100 staff members.

"I think there is a lot of people that have worked in the French Quarter and loved to work in the French Quarter but they just don't feel safe coming down here anymore," Pendleton said. "They don't feel safe, leaving work at night and having to walk to their cars because of the lack of police presence in the French Quarter and knowing nothing is happening criminals when they're found, they're getting the proverbial detention slip."

So far in 2022, New Orleans Police have worked at least 160 murders. An unofficial tally showed 31 killings in June - the most in a single month since July 2004. There have been more homicides in the first six months of this year than in the entire years of 2018 and 2019.

President of the French Quarter Citizens, Glade Bilby says in his 30 years living here, this is the most dangerous the city has ever been.

Eyewitness News, "I think a lot of people are reticent to come out because of the atmosphere of crime," Bilby said.

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He and his family are driving less nowadays because of the crime.

"I think we're driving more than we used to, just for the safety factor," Bilby said.

All three are calling for the city to take immediate action. "We need an added visibility of police," Bilby said.

Pendleton said the City needs to make crime a priority. 

"You always hear them say it's a top priority, it's a top priority, I hear that in your words, I don't see that in your actions."

Burnett said she loves her home and the location but the crime needs to be addressed. 

"It's my neighborhood, it's my home, it's where I have lived most of my life, we can't let crime chase us away," Burnett said.

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