RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Shockoe Bottom Neighborhood Association is complaining about policing in the area as a type of violent crime is on the rise.
The president of the association told 8News they have started a petition because they want Shockoe Bottom to be safer.
Data from Richmond Police show cases of aggravated assault have tripled since last year.
Residents are up in arms but not for the reason you might think.
This time last year there were seven cases of aggravated assault in Shockoe Bottom and this year there are 22 cases.
“The stigma that it gets is sometimes there’s a couple bad instances that take away from the goodness of the neighborhood itself,” said Richmond Police Lt. Anthony Papleo.
Police say they work to prevent crime in the area by barricading streets and patrolling more on the weekend.
Havana Bar manager Daniel Griffin and other business owners say it negatively affects business and makes the area look dangerous.
“Anyone that comes down here on a Friday or Saturday night I’m sure thinks there’s some sort of crime that has gone on, it looks like an active crime scene,” Griffin told 8News.
Imani Callen lives in Shockoe Bottom and says it’s inconvenient.
“When I come home I actually have to get off a different exit that I get off on and driveway around the block actually to get into my apartment,” Callen told 8News.
“It just makes it hard to get down here, it makes parking a complete disaster, we lose four, five blocks worth of parking,” Griffin said.
Papleo is the sector lieutenant for the Shockoe Bottom area. He says police shut down roads to decrease traffic and help people safely cross streets.
“It gives a clear sort of eagles’ eye on what’s going on in that area when the clubs let out and the people are moving around,” said Lt. Papleo.
The neighborhood association has collected 141 signatures with the petition so far and say they plan to bring it to the city council in a month.
Stay with 8News for updates.