HONOLULU (KHON2) — Violent attacks in Waikiki are raising concerns for many in the community, residents and workers said they are alarmed by the recent crime wave in the area.

Crime in Waikiki is being addressed, in part, by a crime reduction initiative called “Safe and Sound”, it took effect in September and it is a collaboration between the City’s Prosecuting Attorney’s office and Honolulu Police Department. 

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The initiative identifies repeated offenders and prioritizes charging them to keep them off the streets. It also seeks to set geographical restrictions to keep certain offenders out of the area. 

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm said only a fraction of those geographical restriction requests is being applied. 

Alm said, “There have been 18, geographic restrictions granted 115 had been denied.” 

The Hawaii State Judiciary shared slightly different numbers with KHON, a spokesperson said the District Court received 125 requests for geographical restrictions and imposed them in 29 cases. Meanwhile, seven requests were made in Circuit Court and of the seven, five remain in custody, a geographical restriction was not necessary. The other two remaining cases were granted supervised release. 

A Hawaii State Judiciary spokesperson said some restrictions are being denied because the offender either lives, works or seeks medical services in the Waikiki area. On the other hand, Alm said prosecutors do not seek restrictions under those circumstances.

Alm said he is noticing judges not imposing geographical restrictions on cases on pre-trial, instead those restrictions being added as a condition for those on probation. 

Alm said, “There’s no geographic restriction because they’re not getting put on probation. So we want more people put on probation than all sorts of services can happen.”

A recent fatal beating of a 21-year-old man by a group of suspects is raising safety concerns in the community. Council Chair Tommy Waters who represents Waikiki is calling for a tougher stance. 

Waters said, “I’d like to say to our prosecutors step up your game, to our courts step up your game. We need to work together to protect our visitors and residents of Waikiki.” 

As the Safe and Sound initiative reaches three months, community members are looking forward to the second phase of the program. The Waikiki Business Improvement District Association CEO Jennifer Nakayama said next year the “Sound” portion of the initiative will create opportunities for at-risk people. 

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Nakayama said, “We hope that the community outreach piece of safe and sound Waikiki is going to be able to connect that in job shadows or job training, or mentoring, you know, all of those things that can really connect people together.”

Nakayama said hotels, restaurants and businesses will participate in the mentoring program.