For the first time in years, Venice resident Kaaren Kitchell isn’t afraid to walk the few blocks from her home to work out at Gold’s Gym.

“I feel totally safe now, walking in Venice, anytime,” Kitchell told our sister network NBC4.

Indeed, in the first three months of this year, LAPD data shows that crime has decreased in this part of Venice. It comes at the same time that dozens of homeless tents that have lined sidewalks for years in the neighborhood around Gold’s have disappeared.

“I thought it was pointless. I didn’t expect to see the sidewalks without tents,” Kitchell added.

The cleanup of encampments in Venice began in early January, when new Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass launched her “Inside Safe” program to dismantle encampments and get the homeless off the streets.

Teams of community workers provided services and motel rooms to people living in tents on 3rd Street and Hampton Drive in Venice, then removed the tents and cleared the streets.

“People feel safer since the tents are gone,” said George Francisco, a Venice resident and business owner.

Some Long Beach residents are upset after authorities announced they would use a park anthem as a temporary shelter for the homeless.

Safer because overall crime is down so far where there used to be encampments.

According to the LAPD, crime in the neighborhood around the former 3rd Street and Hampton Drive encampments was down nearly 24% in the first quarter of this year, compared to a year ago.

Even more dramatic is the drop in crime around Venice’s famous promenade, where there were some 200 tents at one point. These stores have disappeared.

The first quarter of this year saw an almost 48% drop in crime compared to the same period last year, according to LAPD crime statistics obtained by the I-Team.

The I-Team has previously reported that in many cases homeless people themselves were the victims of the crimes. A big reason why Mayor Bass worked to relocate them to safer housing.

Residents of Venice who spoke to NBC4 hope everyone, homeless and homeless, is safer now.

“I’m optimistic, but I’m not sure that Venice will remain without a tent,” says company owner George Francisco.

“I think the City of Los Angeles hasn’t shown that it can sustain a sustained effort to work across departments to provide some basic services, whether to homeless people or residents,” Francisco said. to NBC4.

Categorized in: