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Central West End Residents Call for Tougher Sentences

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – Central West End residents say all they want is crime and punishment. Is that too much to ask for?

That was the consensus at a meeting Wednesday night held by the Central West End Neighborhood Safety Initiative.

Residents say security cameras are good at catching criminals, but judges just keep sending them back to the streets to again and again.

Christine Royal and her husband moved to the city after about two decades raising a family in Town and Country. She’s volunteering to show up in court and explain to judges how much she loves her neighborhood.

“I’m real concerned about the perception that many in the county have about the City of St. Louis,” Royal says. “I think in fact this is a very safe place to be. My husband and I walk all over the place during the day and in to the early night.”

Safety Initiative Director Jim Whyte echoes her concern and says showing up seems to be the only way to get decent sentences for criminals these days.

“I have yet to see the 22nd Judicial Circuit engaged in what the city and the communities are trying to do to make their neighborhood safer,” he said. “What I would like to see is the circuit get on board and issue higher bonds, and hold people accountable.”

Otherwise, the more than 70 security cameras that are going up will be worthless, he said.

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