Police, businesses work on crime prevention

With as many as 268 first-degree burglaries, 459 car break-ins and 26 rapes through July of this year, police and businesses got together to discuss methods to collaborate efforts and combat crime.

According to Kaua‘i police records, in 2006, there were 417 first-degree burglaries, 698 car break-ins and 46 rapes.

To put a dent in crime, businesses and residents need to keep an eye out for each other, according to presenters at the Crime Prevention Strategies for Business, which was co-sponsored by the Kaua‘i Police Department at the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club Friday.

With an island that has as many as 80,000 visitors and residents during peak seasons, the days of living with unlocked doors, cars and open windows is a thing of the past, Moki Okami, of the Marriott Waiohai, said.

Relying on techniques such as high fences or shrubbery for privacy actually might entice thieves and other criminals, as sometimes such measures means opportunistic criminals can operate out of the sights of neighbors and police, presenters pointed out.

On Kaua‘i, with an average of 10 officers working during one shift, two police officers could be on-duty for every 15,000 people, a statistic that translates to a need for community members to protect themselves and keep watch for others.

Watching out for each other includes educating children about the danger of talking to strangers, not only those lurking in the dark somewhere, but the seemingly innocuous person that children approach out of their own volition because he is, perhaps, playing with puppies, selling ice cream or flying a kite.

Crimestoppers, a toll-free phone number that offers cash rewards for crime leads, is another method the community should utilize to help combat crime. Last year, 49 tips were called into Crimestoppers, with three of the calls yielding fruitful results. Other recommendations presenters made included keeping businesses and homes well-lit, keeping windows free of hiding places such as overgrown foliage, and keeping “vocal,” or barking, dogs.

Sponsors for the event included the Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce, the County of Kaua‘i Office of Economic Development and the Kaua‘i Visitor’s Bureau.

To learn more about stopping crime, go to www.ncpc.org.


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