In the city of New Orleans, it is fight crime or have your livelihood ravaged by it.
This is primarily why New Orleans’ Lakeview subdivision, known as the “safe neighborhood” in the city, is having to take matters into their own hands.
Over the last year or so, crime has seemed to spike in the neighborhood, despite New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) Police Chief Michael Harrison saying crime is down overall in the area.
In the last few months, there has been car theft after car theft in the Lakeview area. In one instance, a man was sitting in his car when a group of people pistol-whipped him and then drove off with his vehicle.
Lakeview residents pay a fee to have private security in their neighborhood. That patrol coupled with the NOPD is still not enough for the area, however.
Most recently, residents of the area have held a crime prevention meeting and they are now having to form a crime watchdog group for the neighborhood.
Meanwhile, right now, the city and Mayor Mitch Landrieu are holding two town hall meetings about the removal of Lee Circle, PGT Beauregard and two other Confederacy-related monuments in the city.
And naturally the NOPD is at odds with Lakeview residents. Officials with the NOPD have said that crime in the New Orleans 3rd District, where Lakeview is located, is down. Specifically, auto burglaries are down 35 percent, the NOPD said.
In analysis done by the New Orleans Advocate’s Jeff Asher, crime stats show that Lakeview’s biggest problems are property crimes. Here’s a chart that sums up Lakeview’s crime versus the overall city’s crime:
While Harrison claims that crime is down in the neighborhood, it is not actually down when compared to 2014 numbers. In fact, crime is on the rise in 2015 in Lakeview. Take a look:
Lakeview residents simply are not going to stand by and let their neighborhood turn into other crime-ridden areas of the city. In the meantime, while Lakeview residents are fighting crime, Landrieu’s main concern is removing monuments.
That should give residents an idea as to where the city’s priorities are.