A majority of almost 100 police officers surveyed said crime from hot spot areas are moving to surrounding streets, according to a report by the city’s police department.
Out of the 93 night shift police officers surveyed 74 were convinced crime is being displaced from the hot spot crime zones to surrounding streets. 19 did not think crime was being displaced from the 15 designated hot spots to nearby streets, according to the report.
“The data doesn’t reflect displacement throughout the city,” said captain Richard Reyes, who prepared the report. “Displacement would mean crime went from one area to another area. So the calls for services would have increased in another area.”
Reyes said calls for service and crime numbers are down citywide. He said the crime numbers would not have gone down had there been displacement. The report showed 43-percent drop in non-fatal shootings citywide while 79-percent reduction in business curfew areas.
Police officers are responding to less calls for service from the business curfew areas and as a result are responding to other parts of the city creating the perceptions that crime is spreading to elsewhere in the city, said Reyes.
Some of the officers surveyed said the large groups are moving to liquor stores outside of the curfew zones. Crime has spread over to residential areas, read a response. There have been an increase in large house parties in the city where crimes are occurring, read another response.
City council members have said some displacement has occurred.
After perceiving possible displacement out of the crime zones, Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman, 2nd Ward councilman, abortively attempted to add a long stretch of Union Avenue to the business curfew ordinance.
Akhtaruzzaman managed to add a portion of Union Avenue near Redwood Avenue.
Andre Sayegh, 6th Ward councilman, said he has witnessed some displacement on Main Street. He cited the Moonlight Café which turned into a troublesome establishment. He said the spill over was addressed by shutting down the trouble spot.
“We’re handling it,” said Sayegh.
William McKoy, 3rd Ward councilman, has also said crime is moving to some of his ward’s quiet streets. He said neighbors have complained to him about increased drug transactions on their blocks.
Police brass told McKoy drug dealers are using technology to conduct transactions which is likely playing a role in increase drug activity in quiet areas.
Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large, said, “I haven’t seen any displacement in the Hillcrest neighborhood.” He said if displacement is occurring he would like to see the specific areas where it is moving.
City officials have said the business curfew ordinance has been producing results and is possibly the most effective solution yet deployed on the streets to curb crime.
“There has been some displacement but no way near the level of disturbance originally addressed,” said one officer surveyed.