HONOLULU (KHON2) — City officials said they are noticing some positive steps with the start of a crime reduction program in Waikiki, although they said there is still work to be done. 

Waikiki is among the top destinations for summer travel, and maintaining safety in the area is a top priority for law enforcement. The Safe and Sound program started last September, it is a collaboration between residents and private businesses reporting crime to authorities and an increase of police patrol. 

Check out more news from around Hawaii

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm said crime overall is down in Waikiki compared to last year. 

“You have a lot of restaurants,  you have a lot of bars, a lot of vitality that is going to bring some crime with it,” Alm said. “We got to look at the big picture and I’m really happy to see how crime is headed in the crime direction and that’s down.”

The Safe and Sound program also allows prosecutors to ask for geographical restrictions for habitual offenders, ordering them to stay out of Waikiki.

Alm said a judge has granted 160 geographical restrictions since January. 

Alm said, “We’re really pleased to see that because if somebody keeps getting arrested in a location it means there’s something about that location that gets them to commit a crime.” 

Some of the biggest drops in crime between the first quarter of 2022 and 2023 involve cases related to alcohol and drugs. Those offenses dropped by 82%. Robberies also saw a drop of 64%, assault 15% and theft 16%.

Trevor Abarzua recently took on the role of the Waikiki Business Improvement District Association president. Among his top duties is maintaining Waikiki’s desirable image. 

“Even if you just come on the weekend, you’ll notice a difference and again we’re not where we want to be, it’s not perfect yet,” Abarzua said. “But there is a tremendous increase in what we’ve seen in safety.”

Abarzua said he also plans on adding more life and color to Waikiki.

Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You

Abarzua said, “You see even districts here on Oahu and Kakaako,  just how you put public art in a neighborhood and it transforms the neighborhood, you feel that it’s safer and you feel the culture.”