Kailua residents take their crime concerns to the top

It’s been nearly a year since we first reported on a rash of crime in Kailua.

Since then residents have waged a war to take back their community.

Last June KHON2 reported on a Facebook page called Hono Kailua.

It was started by a group of Kailua residents who were fed up with crime, and they wanted to use social media to put a stop to it.

Since then they’ve held meetings with police and even the city prosecutor to come up with ways to keep the community safe.

KHON2 followed up on their efforts which have caught the attention of the state’s criminal justice leaders.

Even though officials talked about solutions, residents KHON2 spoke with say they still don’t feel safe.

There was a packed house at the Kailua District Park with the focus on property crime.

Many residents looking to officials to help them understand why repeat offenders are back on the street shortly after committing a crime.

“Property crimes is caused by the drug problem in our community. You cannot address the property crime and ignore the drug problem,” Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro said.

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro also said there’s no consequence for these types of criminals.

He said probation isn’t a consequence.

But circuit court Judge Steven Alm says Hawaii’s HOPE probation program works.

“HOPE probation compared to probation as usual, the offenders are getting arrested for new crimes 55% less often,” said Alm.

Officials representing the law enforcement, justice and public safety arms of government, also discussed prison space, and the lack of beds.

“But overcrowding is not why we release people. we release people because their sentence is coming to an end,” State Public Safety Director Ted Sakai said.

Honolulu Police said they have more boots on the ground now in Windward Oahu, than they have in the past couple of years.

“The police department is dedicated to doing what it can to get this people off the street,” said police.

But many of the people who were looking for answers, didn’t feel like they got any.

“One of the things is if there are problems continuously reoccuring, then what’s currently in place isn’t working anymore,” Kailua resident Donna Festa said.

“The second chances that they’re granting are hurting people. and if everything is working so greta, why do all these people show up here? To tell them it’s not that great?” Kailua resident Leslie Ragan said.

The Kailua Neighborhood Board, organized this crime forum, and board members have not yet said their next step.

Residents say they will not give up in trying to find solutions.

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