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7.16.22 – NWZ Wire — New Orleans

People who work and live in the French Quarter say crime is out of control.

NEW ORLEANS – Residents and business owners in the French Quarter say crime is taking over their neighborhood and is affecting businesses. They said a stronger police presence was needed to help keep people safe and reduce crime.

The people of New Orleans love their city and so do the tourists, but this beautiful city is number one per capita in murders in the country. Residents and business owners say crime here is out of control.

Lucy Burnett has lived in the French Quarter most of her life, she said for the first time that she is concerned about her safety.

“It has definitely affected our lives down here because you don’t want to walk alone,” Burnett said.

He said he had to change his routines because of the crime.

“I don’t go out alone and I certainly don’t go out at night …” I’m starting to worry during the day, ”Burnett said.

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Christian Pendleton, of Brennan’s Restaurant and a representative of the Louisiana Restaurant Association, said the record high crime rates make it difficult to find employees and the restaurant has more than 100 staff members.

“I think there are a lot of people who have worked in the French Quarter and loved working in the French Quarter, but they no longer feel safe going down here,” Pendleton said. “They don’t feel safe, they leave work at night and have to walk to their cars due to the lack of a police presence in the French Quarter and knowing that nothing criminal happens when they find them, they receive the proverbial arrest warrant.”

By 2022, New Orleans police have carried out at least 160 murders. An unofficial count showed 31 murders in June, most in a single month since July 2004. There have been more homicides in the first six months of this year than in the full years of 2018 and 2019.

French Quarter Citizens president Glade Bilby says that in her 30 years living here, this is the most dangerous the city has ever been.

Eyewitness News, “I think a lot of people are reluctant to go out because of the crime atmosphere,” Bilby said.

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He and his family drive less today because of the crime.

“I think we’re driving more than before, just for the safety factor,” Bilby said.

All three are calling for the city to take immediate action. “We need additional police visibility,” Bilby said.

Pendleton said City Council must make crime a priority.

“You always hear them say it’s a top priority, it’s a top priority, I feel like in your words, I don’t see it in your actions.”

Burnett said he loves his home and location, but the crime must be addressed.

“It’s my neighborhood, it’s my home, it’s where I’ve lived most of my life, we can’t let the crime end us,” Burnett said.