GREENSBORO, N.C — Greensboro Police have heard from the community along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, and they’ve increased police presence to help fix the problems those residents described.
Prostitution, drug dealing, drug use and drinking in public are some of the crimes noted in the most recent Greensboro PD crime stats for the area.
Old Asheboro Neighborhood Association President Barbara Akins believes they result from poor quality of life in the area.
“There’s a lot of hopelessness and helplessness around here. People think it’s never going to change,” Akins said.
Akins thinks getting jobs in the area would clean it up better than more police.
Something else that may help clean up the area is judges and magistrates: they’ve begun banning repeat offenders from returning to the area at the request of officers.
The bans are a condition of bonded release. A defendant may have to pay bail and agree to avoid a certain area in exchange for staying out of jail until trial.
Guilford County District Court Judge Tom Jarrell said its similar to what judges often do in the case of domestic violence, where the defendant is released but prohibited from contacting the victim.
“The defendant can agree to it or he [or she] can stay in jail,” Jarrell said. “If he [or she] doesn’t do what he [or she] is supposed to, it’s back to jail and there will be a new bond hearing,” Jarrell said.
Jarrell estimated that more than half of his cases involve some sort of condition for bond to prevent danger to the community if the defendant is released.
Greensboro Police Captain Joel Cranford knows the banning is not a permanent solution.
“This will provide some short-term assistance until we can start to work on the roots of some of these issues,” Cranford said.