Oahu's streets safer, at least statistically

Greg Cuadra
Greg Cuadra
Paul Perrone
Paul Perrone

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Greg Cuadra fixes appliances but he also tries to repair his community.  He carries around paint and brushes in his van to cover graffiti in his down time.

"The city the state, they don't have the manpower," said Greg Cuadra, Moiliili community member and Neighborhood Board Chair.  "The more the citizens become involved, definitely it will become a better community."

Those community efforts could be helping.  Violent crime dropped six percent and property crime fell nearly three percent nationally.  Here on Oahu crime reached the lowest point on record since they started keeping stats in 1975.  That includes violent crimes like murder, rape, robbery and assault.  And property crimes like burglary and theft.

"In the City and County of Honolulu crime was down across the board in all of the major crime categories we track except for murder, murder had reached a really record low point in 2009 and there were a few more in 2010 which brought us back to about average levels," said Paul Perrone, Research and Statistics Chief for the Office of the Attorney General.  "The total crime rate was at a record low point which was driven by a record low property crime rate which in turn was driven by a record low theft rate."

So what's stopping criminals?  You'd think in a bad economy crime would spike but that's not been the case.

"When crime as a whole is down in a large jurisdiction it's really difficult to pin it on any one thing," said Perrone.  "Really for every rule or theory or obvious idea there are all of these exceptions and contradictory examples so it's really difficult to say crime is down because and then in a few seconds answer that accurately."

People continue to do citizen patrols and neighborhood watches all over the state.  But it takes more than paint to wipe out crime still it certainly doesn't hurt.

"You see a community where people are involved where they are tackling the graffiti problems, and the trash laying around then you see the community start to get better," said Cuadra.

The Honolulu Police Department issued a statement saying its "pleased that the total number of index crimes is down. The statistics reflect the hard work of our officers and civilian employees and that of our law enforcement partners, including the prosecutor's office, businesses, community organizations and volunteers who work with HPD."

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