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Residents concerned with crime in downtown Wilmington

READ MORE: Residents concerned with crime in downtown Wilmington
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More downtown crime concerns after a robbery and assault with a deadly weapon over the weekend. Some say the increased crime in the downtown area has to do with a lack of lighting on local streets. Just a few days ago, neighbors and community members gathered at a community watch meeting to discuss the safety of the downtown and historic districts. Among the many concerns was keeping the streets better lit for people who do choose to walk around at night. Another concern on the list was cutting down bushes and shrubs to improve the visibility of someone walking alone. Leland resident Jeff Lakeman says he noticed a lack of lighting last night, at Third and Princess. "Last night we came back downtown, and this block of Princess was pitch dark, and it was a little eerie walking down the street in total darkness," said Lakeman. The robbery and assault this past weekend happened on the corner of Third and Nun Streets. The City of Wilmington has plans in the works to add more lights in that section of Third Street.

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Where Are The Citizens?

Blaming the police for the increase in crime is over simplifying the problem. I believe our police to a good job with the resources they have, AND the inability to be everywhere at the same time. My big question....WHERE ARE THE CITIZENS? Citizens in a community can help fight crime by donating their time and effort, AND voting in representatives who provide these necessary services first.

Crime

I agree, if citizens would be willing to volunteer time in the streets, they might see a difference in the community, and build relationships with the very ones that need to be reached, and who are committing the crimes.

lack of police

not only is it dark the bushes and shrubs are out of control. What's with this town? More cops need to be hanging out on these streets and not just 3rd and down. Recently, I had someone come up on my porch at 11:30pm and started messing with my door. I hadn't had my lights on all night (watching tv). I called 911 and it took 10 minutes for a cop to show up. 10 minutes and I live downtown. The new police station is like right down the road. Wilmington needs more cops, road repairs, sewer repairs not a convention center. How will that benefit the residents if half of them move away because of crime. By the way I think Wilmington is #17 for the most dangerous cities in America. nice.....

Downtown Crime?

Crime is on the increase in America. So our area crime rate will also increase. Our state and local legal systems, and mental health services, tell us they are underfunded and out of control. First things first. In other words, do you want a Downtown Convention Center that will operate in the red, more unnecessary studies and reports, successful developers who do not pay for infrastructure....or adequate police protection, along with sufficiently operating courts and prisons? This means electing candidates who will not tax you to death, and then "waste" your money, and not provide the necessary government services. Yes, the late night bars cause problems. But this is a town of many college students, tourists, and young people from nearby areas who have no where else to go for nightlife. So the bars are here to stay. And Downtown does need the revenue, or Wilmington will become yet another ghost town at night. More street lamps and trimming shrubbery is a humorous solution. Real Solution: Fund the solutions by electing responsible representatives, and contribute what YOU can in time and effort to your community as a citizen.

Wilmington Police

Last week my comment that I had not seen a cop in Hugh MacRae Park after dark in 5 years brought an angry response from a couple of officers. One left his pers. phone number for me to call. Someone must have said something to the chain of command because on Saturday night at 9pm two City cops had two guys up against their car near the gazebo. It looked like it was not a friendly greeting. Thank you. Perps will get the message quickly.

Police presence downtown

When my husband and I first moved here to Wilmington 3 years ago I wanted to purchase a house in the downtown historic area. We knew nothing about the area at night. Everyday I thank God we did not buy downtown. Eventhough I love the houses and the history, we opted to move closer to the Mayfaire area. We love to shop downtown, which we do during the day. We eat at the beautiful restaurants, but we are out of there before dark! On the few occasions we do stay a little later (4th of July, Riverfest, Christmas parade etc.)we park in close proximity to the event even if it costs a few $$$ more. My 26 year old son was ambushed and beaten by 6 marines right on Front St (different story). What I'm trying to say is...you can clean it up, open great stores and eateries but what good is that if people are afraid to be there after dark? I don't have the answers, I just wanted to let the WPD how I feel. I'm not blaming the Police, they can only work with what they have. I'm a big supporter of the police...my oldest son is a Sgt. in another city.

Lighting....are you

Lighting....are you serious...thats all they have...man the comment above about the cops is so true..the WPD is prob. the biggest joke in the state. i mean we have more crime per capita than charlotte...how is that. And even that crime stays in the ghetto..our crime is trickling into nice areas of downtown in areas where this shouldnt even come close to happening...downtown is going to go backwards is somthing does not get done fast...that new convention center is gonna be empty b/c everyone is gonna be to scared to come down there...good one!! The worst part is the city LETS the bar owners rent off duty cops..then they trim back the ones on duty to safe the city money...scandelous huh...so stupid we have such a cool city and we are gonna let it get ruined because of some unqualified people who only have personal agendas......

The problem downtown doesn't

The problem downtown doesn't lie with the lighting.....it lies with the lack of a sufficient amount of police presence in heavily populated areas. Its public record people, you should ask.....how many cops do you think are assigned to the "Downtown" district at any one time??? Its about ONE! 1. Uno. That's right, ONE. So you tell me how one cop is going to police all of the areas that the downtown encompasses. Yeah sure on the weekends and in the summer and on holidays there are more cops there, for instance the mounted police officers. And WPD still has M.U.D. or Maximum Uniform Deployment. But those officers concentrate on Front and Market Streets where the bar patrons are. The city council needs to better fund the police department and get them more officers. Bottom line.

Police Funding???

Wilmington's City Council has decided that developers needs, the convention center, and all their handouts to their friends is more important than funding the police. But people keep voting for them. Are you one?

Downtown Crime

I'm pleased with your continued coverage of this problem that concerns EVERYONE that resides in the downtown area. I felt compelled to write since my friends and I (a group of 5) were walking up Chestnut St. to my home at exactly the same time of the robbery/shooting at 3rd and Nun. It could have easily been our group that was attacked. The meeting at the police station about Community Watch the other night was only somewhat inspiring to my group of friends and I. Yes, changing light bulbs to a higher wattage in street lights will help, but that is ONLY ONE SMALL STEP in ensuring the safety of residents, as is trimming hedges and shrubs. It will be some time before I feel like I don't have to carry a knife when walking downtwon. I would love to see a story about the geographic policing concept talked about at the meeting. And to Francie - thanks so much for your hard work. We all want this Community Watch program up and running very soon. We're at our wits' ends...we want to feel safer.

Magical Officers

So where do these magic officers come from? We have a thousand citizens screaming to get downtown to fights and "near riots" everytime the bars close and that tieing up most available officers any given night, then calls for service to usually petty incidents taking care of the one or two that aren't downtown playing mean daddy to drunks. In between, that regular focus on the streets and being in the right place at the right time are a combination of timing and luck. Blame lack of cops all you want, but they're doing their best with what they have to work with. All these armed robberies and drug deals going down all the time in Wilmington are the same people over and over again. Most people in the area know exactly who does them too. Very few go forward to help the law, meaning they have to be pretty much caught in the act by cops. Hell, the cops really don't care that much anyway as 75% of the robberies are drug related in this city anyway. Not much incentive there to get a crack addict his cash back to buy more drugs. And if regular citizens won't even give their name or meet with an officer when they call..what's the point? Officers can't just go and arrest anyone they want because someone said they were drinking and driving or doing drugs. They might investigate if it's a serious claim such as child abuse or heroin trafficking. Of course with enough money we could put an officer on each street corner, hell video cameras in each room. Would be an awesome fun police state to live in.