Melrose residents, business owners hold town hall to address rising crime

Residents and business owners within the popular Melrose District held a town hall meeting Wednesday to discuss the rise in crime in the area.

According to statistics from the Los Angeles Police Department's Wilshire and Hollywood divisions, robberies with a handgun jumped 75% within the last year. Data also shows street robberies have increased by 40% from 2019 to 2021, while business robberies have declined 43% from the same time period.

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"I've seen it [the rise in crime], and it's kind of scary working here [Melrose corridor]. It is sad because it's such a popular area and all the little shops are really cool and there are a lot of different merchants and it's sad because it's touristy so you don't want the tourists to come and be scared of LA," said Lisa Del Real.

Del Real said she has started to practice more safety measures too.

"I try not to be on my phone because I have to be aware of my surroundings and I have my mace just in case," she said.

Residents at the town hall meeting asked officers what they were doing to prevent crime and discussed the problems they've been experiencing.

LAPD plans to be more visible along the corridor with officers on horseback, officers on bicycles, more foot patrols, motor units and a mobile command post.

"I'm all for that [more policing] as long as it really is in the spirit of protecting the folks who are out shopping and trying to enjoy themselves. If it really is in the interest of protecting the public, that's great and we probably will allow our children to come here more often if that's the case. There's so much potential here. There's a lot going on obviously so it would be great if it were a safe place," said Andrea, who was in the area with her daughter, Olivia.

Business owners also voiced their complaints to officers during the town hall meeting, and officers plan to work with business owners to provide resources to them such as recommendations for private security companies.

Violent crime has increased nationwide, but officers said the Melrose area is outpacing other parts of the city. 

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