Surveillance cameras to be used in north St. Louis crime crackdown -

Surveillance cameras to be used in north St. Louis crime crackdown

(KMOV) -- After a summer of multiple shootings and three killings on Lee Avenue, Alderman Antonio French said some residents had enough.

"I had three different families contact me and tell me that they were moving. They just couldn't take it anymore," said French.

The latest crime crackdown includes implementation of a surveillance camera system. The idea has been in the works for a year, but Alderman French says that Lee Avenue will be the first to get cameras in late November or early December.

At least two cameras will be put up along a stretch of Lee Avenue between Newstead and Fair. The cameras will constantly record activity so that if there is a crime, police can use the footage to help find suspects.

This fall, the city has used other tactics to try and deter crime. Late September, the city used concrete barriers to block five side streets along Lee Avenue between Newstead and Fair.

Some residents said it was an inconvenience, but others added that it makes the area more difficult for criminals to access.

Alderman French's office also sent 14 cease and desist orders to owners of problem properties. French said his office targeted those that have logged multiple police calls and complaints over the last year. If property owners don't do something about the criminal activity, French said the city would work to condemn the properties.

"That cease and desist order goes to the owner of the property and sometimes the owner doesn't even know what the renter is doing," added French.

There are other plans in the works to clean up vacant properties. Many are owned by the city. French said he's working to have some of the buildings demolished and add others to the national list of historic places. He hopes that historic tax credits will encourage developers to rehabilitate the buildings.

"We're doing the hard work now, over the winter and the first part of next year so that come next summer, we don't have a summer here on Lee like we did last summer."

Powered by Frankly