Church Hill neighbors voice frustration over unanswered requests to Richmond leaders

Church Hill neighbors voice frustration over unanswered requests to Richmond leaders

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - An uptick in violence in a Church Hill neighborhood finds neighbors pleading with the city yet again. They say for years now, they’ve asked for some minor neighborhood improvements that they say would help deter criminals.

Tuesday afternoon, a double shooting on North 34th and S streets left a man and woman injured in broad daylight.

Just two nights earlier, a 19-year-old was shot at a convenience store on the 1100 block of North 25th Street.

“We hear shots all the time but these ones shook the house,” David Seibert said.

Both crimes happened less than a mile away from his Church Hill home.

“We love the neighborhood. I got to know a lot of people here years ago,” he said. But the crime is getting to be a bit much. “We have a 3 and a half-year-old, and pretty soon I’m going to have to start explaining what’s going on to him.”

Seibert believes there are several factors that make the neighborhood attractive to those causing mischief. For instance, bad roads result in less traffic and too few street lights.

“When there’s not lighting, when there’s not adequate people driving around to have their eyes on things, it attracts crime…We also don’t have any sidewalks at all, which is very unusual. Most of this neighborhood and almost all of the city have sidewalks in the urban core, and we just don’t right here.”

Another nuisance is overgrown shrubbery.

“It’s an area where people can sneak into the bushes and into the dark alleys and things like that,” Seibert pointed out.

He says he’s been in touch with Richmond Council President Cynthia Newbille for about four years now, but nothing. Tuesday, NBC12 reached out by email, text, and on social media and is awaiting a response.

“Every year we hear, ‘I put it in the budget. I think it’s very important,’ and then later in the year when we follow up, it sounds like ‘sorry, council did not award the funds for this yet again,’” Seibert said.

Other neighbors tell NBC12 they agree with these concerns.

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