Bettering Highland Park

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Councilwoman Ellen Robertson wants to bring change to Highland Park - one of Richmond's toughest neighborhoods.

Community pastor Lloyd Price lived in Highland Park for over a decade - he says the stigma definitely comes from crime.

"People have nothing to do, there needs to be more activities for young people to engage in, in some positive things, and we don't have enough of that," said Price.

What Pastor Price has seen over the years is a community that wants to get better, and others agree, the police are doing their part in reducing crime.

"I see a lot of cop cars yeah, they do patrol the area," said Kendra Walker.

With the weather getting warmer Richmond Police officers have noticed an increase in foot traffic in Highland Park, so at night more officers have been assigned to patrol the streets on foot and they say it's working.

For one of Richmond's toughest neighborhoods recent data shows major crime is down.

Things like robbery and assault are at its lowest at zero compared to the 5 the area had in May of last year, however, it's not all good - burglaries and vehicle thefts are up this year by 9 percent compared to last year.

"The police are not going to be able to affect long term change in that neighborhood by themselves," said Richmond Police Captain, Michael Snawder.

That's why councilwoman, Ellen Robertson, want schools, social services and non profits to pitch in and create a zone at Ann Hardy Park for kids and families to come to.

"We want people that senior citizens to feel this is a place of resources they can come here and get information and we want the young people to feel the same," said Robertson.

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