HONOLULU (KHON2) — Recent violent incidents in Waikiki have those living there on high alert, and some residents calling on the City to add more eyes to certain areas known for having illegal activity.
Some Waikiki residents are raising concerns about an unoccupied pavilion on Waikiki’s Kuhio Beach. The pavilion sits empty after Pacific Island Beach Boys pulled out of the location, they said, mainly due to criminal activity in the area. The non-profit surf school is keeping its location in the pavilion next door.
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Surf Instructor Cody Harada said, “They try to break in, we try to make it as good as possible, we tried to fix it up but it is not doing any better.”
Other neighboring businesses in the pavilions said they have seen signs of attempted break-ins and small items like brooms stolen.
Waikiki Neighborhood Board Member Kathryn Henski said she is concerned criminal activity could continue to escalate if more is not done to stop it.
Henski said, “I would not walk out my door past 10 o’clock at night in any of these neighborhoods here, it’s not safe.”
In response, Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s office said the City is still considering a number of options for the pavilion. They are considering all types of vendors, including the possibility of having a City agency or department use the space.
The City also hopes for safer streets, with the State Judiciary agreeing to stop releasing some arrestees on their own recognizance on weekdays.
The Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney’s office said this change disrupts the “arrest and release” revolving door. Defendants who are unable to make bail will be held in custody at the Honolulu Police Department and taken to court the next day, this gives prosecutors the chance to take a case before a judge.
Meanwhile, Henski continues to press the City to begin crime reduction programs like “Weed and Seed” in Waikiki, which still does not have a start date.
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Henski said, “We hear the words ‘Weed and Seed,’ we hear safe and sound, I looked it up, what does that mean? It means we’re going to be protected from what’s happening, when does it start?”