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Hundreds of Kailua residents turn out for crime meeting

By Brenton Awa
Published On: Jul 17 2013 01:10:58 PM HST
Updated On: Jul 17 2013 01:13:46 PM HST

Hundreds of Kailua residents attend neighborhood watch meeting to address community issues.

KAILUA OAHU -

Many Kailua residents were up in arms Tuesday night. What was supposed to be a small turnout for a neighborhood watch meeting turned into a full house of people trying to address issues of crime.

"There's going to be times of frustration I'm not going to lie to you,” says Lt. Tasman McKee of the Honolulu Police Department.

"We're way beyond that,” responds a resident.

Residents say the current crime wave is on the rise and statistics from HPD's Crimemapping website backs them.

Six-hundred ninety-four crimes were committed in Kailua so far this year.  Ninety were in January. The number increased to 150 in May.

Of the crimes committed this year, 283 were vehicle break-ins, 253 were theft/larceny, and 99 burglaries were recorded. The remaining crimes were auto thefts (42) and vandalism (17).

"It's dangerous because we've seen homeless people down here with knives and other dangerous objects," says Sienna Swift, a Kailua resident.

More than 200 residents showed up to a meeting to address community issues. Some believe HPD isn't patrolling enough but police say they can’t be everywhere.

"These officers cannot be on every street corner 24 hours a day," says Lt. McKee.

Click here to see mug shots in Hawaii in 2013.

That's why police are pushing for residents to beef up their neighborhood watch programs. But residents say that's not the problem.

"The problem is HPD is trying to enforce, they're arresting the people who are creating the crimes but those people are getting let out two days later," says Cynthia Rubinstein, a Kailua resident

HPD admits it’s frustrated as well. Some residents blame Hawaii's judicial system.

"One guy had 70 offenses one guy had 90 offenses, one guy had shot someone in the Kailua neighborhood he was out in two days," says Rubinstein.

Others just want to see more patrols.

"Lots of people love using the basketball and skate park but you can't if you’re worried about other people," says Swift.

Tuesday night’s meeting was originally set up by HPD as a way to help rebuild Kailua's neighborhood watch program in the Ku'ulei Tract area.

HPD will host another meeting on July 17 at Kailua District Park to address problems with crime across the entire windward side.

Residents from Waimanalo to Kahuku are welcome to attend. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.

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