Waikiki sees ‘dramatic decrease’ in crime after 1 year of ‘Safe and Sound’ initiative
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Over the past year since the “Safe and Sound” initiative has been in place, city leaders say Waikiki has seen a “dramatic” reduction in crime.
“Crime is down in almost every category from a year ago ... before Safe and Sound started,” said Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm, at a news conference on Tuesday.
“This is a collaborative effort, everybody working together. It’s good initial start, but it’s gotta keep going and all the partners are committed to make sure that it will keep on.”
Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of the initiative, which seeks to improve safety in the area by targeting repeat offenders — specifically thieves. Alm said at the launch that more felony charges would be pursued, and habitual criminals would be ordered to stay out of Waikiki or face arrest.
HPD Acting Lt. Blake Arita noted a “dramatic decrease” in major crimes between Sept. 1, 2022 to Aug. 1, 2023 as compared to the previous year. He cited the following statistics:
- Decrease in assault cases by 4%
- Decrease in burglary cases by 31%
- Decrease in criminal property damage cases by 28%
- Decrease in theft overall by 6%
He noted an increase in disorderly conduct cases by 37% but attributed that to HPD officers being more proactive in arresting disorderly persons and addressing loud noise complaints.
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Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi also spoke at the news conference Tuesday, saying he’s encouraged by the progress that’s been made but also that this is just the beginning.
“We’re well aware, even though the statistics are down, that there are still statistics there that are not acceptable to us, so in that regard, better days ahead,” Blangiardi said.
City leaders said that a future goal of the program would be to addressing mental illness — and focus on the “sound” part of “Safe and Sound.”
This story will be updated.
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