Richmond Police work to cut down crime on Midlothian Turnpike

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (NBC12) - It is a section of town that police once described as the Wild Wild West.

Midlothian Turnpike, is by no means a safe section of Richmond, but according to Tom Patel the manager of the Richmond Inn Hotel, things are getting better.

"The crime has been reduced, that is the main thing," said Patel.

Patel is on the front lines of the battle to improve Midlothian turnpike.

He has seen his establishment become the victim of crime many times.

From prostitution to robbery to drugs, the rooms in this motel have seen it all.

"We don't have that much headache," he said. "Like two years ago, we had a lot of robberies, now nothing like that. One year ago, people would break the glass, now no more break the glass now."

And if its one big change Patel points to it is the installation of 25 security cameras that are keeping a watchful eye over his property.

If something happens, the cameras catch it. It not only helps catch criminals, but it also keeps them away.

Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Alex Taylor said the cameras are a valuable tool to keep crime away.

"Because the word will get out, if you commit a crime at these locations, you are going to get caught," he said.

And it is starting to work, police say robberies have dropped 36 percent and assaults have gone down 14 percent.

They also claim that prostitution and drug distribution has dropped as well.

It's the beginning of an effort that has already proved to have in impact, but will take some time before it can officially declared a success.

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