Push is on to clean up Central City in an effort to reduce crime

Push is on to clean up Central City in an effort to reduce crime

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "It's the broken window syndrome that you're going to have more crime when there's filth," Al Mims said.

Mims is an anti-crime activist who lives in Central City.

He points to the trash, overgrown lots and abandoned houses that litter his neighborhood.

"Sometimes we've lost the care. They feel like nobody cares, so if nobody cares, they don't care for themselves," Mims said.

Mims believes the condition of the neighborhood contributes to the crime problem. It was on the corner of Josephine and Willow that 43-year-old Sabrina Watson was gunned down Tuesday morning. Just a few blocks away, half a dozen people were shot earlier this month, and police believe the two incidents may be connected and could involve gang activity.

On Thursday night during a march for peace, Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell said she couldn't help but notice the state of the neighborhood.

"We really do have to do a better job of cleaning up our neighborhoods because they are filthy, and people live in them," Cantrell said. "It does impact their quality of life and of course criminal activity that happens every day where they live."

Cantrell said people are reporting some of the problems to the city.

"People are calling even anonymously to my office saying that they have license plate numbers. They have information, but we need to make sure that they're connected to the authorities to then capture their information," Cantrell said.

While she said the city could be doing a better job, she also believes the people who live there should be responsible for keeping their own property clean.

Mims agrees.

"They can only do so much. We have to take responsibility for ourselves. Government can't take care of everything," he said.

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