Waikīkī crime down
Thefts and robberies in Hawaii’s busiest tourist district are down sharply this year, and may perhaps drop as much as 40 percent compared to 2002. According to a report in the latest Pacific Business News, statistics from the Honolulu Police Department’s Waikīkī district show a total of 851 visitor-related property crimes so far this year, and law enforcement anticipate the final number to fall short of 1,200. There were nearly 2,000 visitor-related property crimes reported in 2002. The story also notes that car break-ins have fallen from nearly 200 in one month in 2002 to an average or 40 to 60 today. Police officials attribute much of the decrease to a stronger police presence in Waikīkī, with as many as 70 officers patrolling the area through a given day. Waikiki Improvement Association president Rick Egged, however, told Pacific Business News that the strong economy has a lot to do with it as well. “Basically anybody in Hawaii who wants a job can get one,” he said. “This affects the person who might be a casual thief.” Better cooperation among private hotel and store security firms and law enforcement has also been cited. The drop in crime in Waikīkī echoes Hawaii’s overall declining crime trends, and is good news as the visitor industry continues to see record numbers of visitors and rising visitor spending.