Owning a business, especially retail, requires you to have a sense of trust in your community. Though we live in a city, and in ever-growing Church Hill, we all expect a certain amount of respect and safety when we leave our homes. Going to see our neighbors, getting our hair cut, treating ourselves to a meal are all activities that should feel safe. So when we heard that a local storefront was held up at gunpoint, we were concerned. We’re not naming the storefront at the request of the owner for safety reasons and while there’s an active investigation. But suffice it to say, some money was lost, threats were made, and the establishment now feels a little less confident in the security of the neighborhood. Here’s a quote from the owner,
Being open to the public means we welcome every person who walks through our door. We now have a little more caution. I hate that, but our spirits aren’t broken and we will continue to do what we do. Next time you shop local, thank the person behind the counter.
This is sad stuff but thankfully it doesn’t happen often, at least not commonly in the Church Hill area. However, since the summer started there’s been an increase in petty crime and nonfatal shootings just as violent crime drops by 2% in the city. If you’re active in social media, you’ll note a theme of frustration from neighbors as cars and bikes are stolen and break-ins become common because “it is the summertime”.
It’s interesting to note that property crime also rose in 2017, though marginally by 1 percent, bringing overall major crime about even with 2016. There were 55 more crimes, less than 1 percent, reported in 2017 than 2016.
Perhaps to continue to get ahead of the crime wave, just about 12 hours ago, the City of Richmond announced its re-launch of the “Respect Richmond” program. Here’s a short blurb on the resource:
The campaign, which launched in September 2017, uses “innovative marketing and advertising strategies to target anti-violence and anti-retaliation messages to those at highest risk of committing gun violence or being a victim of gun violence, and the broader Richmond community.”
Check out the site here: http://respectrichmond.com/community-resources/
As always, if you see something, say something.
If you see or suspect that violent crime, an illegal gun, or drug and gang activity are taking place in your neighborhood, the worst thing you can do is say nothing. No matter how big or small it is, your information about gang activities and street gang crimes in your neighborhood is a valuable tool for police to use in the fight against gang violence in Richmond.
In some cases, your information may even save a life!
If you have a tip about gang activity, illegal guns, drugs, crimes or violent crime, or suspected gang members in your neighborhood, share that information with police through Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers. It’s 100% anonymous and your tip may even be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.