SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4News) – Businesses and residents along North Temple near 800 West said they’ve seen a noticeable drop in crime. This comes four months after police and community members put increased effort on enforcement. Police said even with their success they will have to continue to follow the crime where it moved to.
Chairman Nigel Swaby of the River District Chamber said back in July that a criminal enterprise was setting up. Just four months later he’s shocked how fast things changed once Salt Lake City Police set up a substation in the neighborhood.
“Just having this presence here has been important.”
There were no exact crime number available, but residents said the difference was clear. Swaby also credits the work of the owner of the Gateway Inn Motel. Which was seeing many of the problems.
“The key things that they have done is they’ve kicked out the people that they know were problems,” said Swaby.
The owner was out of town and not available for comment. Swaby said he had been showing up at a lot more comumity meetings and has been making an effort to change. This also came after a letter from the city talked about possible violations and said how to fix them.
“He kind of felt helpless, and the whole process that we’ve gone through over the past four months have helped empower him,” said Swaby.
Even with the crime down significantly, police know it’s not gone away. Det. Greg Wilking of the Salt Lake City Police Department said part of community policing is chasing crime to the next hot spot. He notes that’s why it’s vital for residents to report it.
“We need to hear from our residents wherever they may be, wherever crime may be happening,” said Det. Wilking. “We’re going to chase that crime.”
Police said criminals will often try to relocate to areas where people will look the other way.
“They’re going to go to the place of least resistance,” said Det. Wilking. “So they’re going to go to the neighborhoods where people aren’t paying attention and where people aren’t calling in their activities.”
Police move resources to different areas depending on the amount of crime that’s reported and tracked. They note that’s why it’s so important to call it in.