HONOLULU (KHON2) — Waikiki’s “Safe and Sound” program has been in place now for more than a year, and according to the Waikiki Business Improvement District, alcohol and drug-related crimes are down by 67% since last year.
The Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm said part of what is making Waikiki safer is keeping repeated offenders out.
Alm said, “256 geographic restrictions have been granted, compared to 313 that have been denied, but at the beginning they were all getting denied. So this is a good move in the right direction.”
Geographic restrictions are in place for people who repeat criminal offenses and prosecutors ask the judiciary to impose those restrictions on the individuals.
But now that the “Safe” portion of the program is on track what is next for the “Sound”?
The Waikiki Business Improvement District President and Executive Director Trevor Abarzua said the next steps include a partnership with The Institute for Human Services to offer shelter, and medical and substance abuse treatment.
Abarzua said, “There’s kind of a grey area. Maybe it’s somebody that is houseless, someone that is maybe drug addicted or alcohol addicted that is down in their luck that is in the community but they need help, and they are not the ones that are committing the crimes.”
Meanwhile, “Weed and Seed” is a non-profit in partnership with the U.S. District Attorney’s Office and separate from “Safe and Sound” will be celebrating 25 years.
The “Weed and Seed” Executive Director Gale Bracero said their crime reduction programs and youth initiatives in Chinatown, Kalihi, Ewa Beach and Waipahu are making a difference in the community.
Bracero said, “Whenever they would graffiti, we’d go right back there and paint and constantly doing and you know and today, we see a huge difference when we paint a wall or we paint our bus stops it stays cleaner a little longer.”
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These are community efforts trying to fight off crime.