MPD First District Sector Two Captain John Knutsen appeared at the Thursday October 12th meeting of Advisory neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6A to present a report on crime in that district.
He said that rates of crime are showing a decrease in the area. Although robberies are up in the last sixty days, overall crime is significantly reduced and violent crime is down 33% from the same period last year. Plainclothes officers have been deployed to high problem areas and bicycle patrols have been particularly effective.
Knutsen noted that there is an ongoing problem with crime committed by youth, particularly just before and just after school hours, of which police are aware.
He said police are paying more attention to sexual solicitation in Northeast, adding that prostitution is a problem along the K Street NE corridor. He said that as officers have given more attention to the western end of the street, the activity is moving east. The situation is very discomfiting to the families who live nearby, he commented, who must witness frequent, unsuitable behavior and the noise and used condoms that go with it.
There are methods of coping with this activity, Knutsen said. Residents have had some success in installing motion activated lighting and security cameras. Additional officers, mobile lights and additional lights on public buildings will be deployed. It was noted at the meeting that Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) is introducing legislation to decriminalize prostitution.
Mid-day robberies at construction sites have been a recent problem, and victims are often reluctant to report the crimes. Police are making a special outreach effort to construction workers to provide advice on how to protect themselves and their property.
A neighbor reported that the homeless campground between 15th & 16th Streets at D Street NE is the scene of much criminal activity, including drug sales. The neighbor added that there is also a lot of debris, including several couches, contributing to the problem.
With reporting by Elizabeth Nelson