VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Violent crime is down at the Oceanfront. During the city’s 6th District community meeting on Thursday, police gave a safety update on the area.
Virginia Beach Police are seeing an 85% decrease in violent crime at the Oceanfront and say strategic policing is to thank.
More than 100 residents in the Resort City’s 6th District came out for Thursday’s meeting at Virginia Beach Middle School as they listened to updates on flood protection, transportation and crime.
Capt. Harry McBrien with the Virginia Beach Police Department told the crowd homicides, robberies and aggravated assaults at the beach are down and credits the department’s sub station with helping officers respond quicker in an emergency.
“The sub station at 21st Street right at the block area, that’s had a great impact,” McBrien said.
Meanwhile, one resident voiced concerns over human trafficking, just one day after Homeland Security and the Hampton Roads Trafficking Task Force announced a labor trafficking and sex trafficking bust in Eastern Virginia.
“We work as a Task Force to address every human trafficking complaint and we’re very proactive in what we do with the hotels at the Oceanfront,” McBrien said.
In May 2022, VBPD conducted an undercover commercial sex operation at a local hotel where 40-year-old Pierre De Romeo Smith was charged with seven counts of sex trafficking and production of child pornography.
“If you mention the word kid and human trafficking, I guarantee you all hands on deck is going after that,” McBrien said. “There is a tremendous amount of work going on behind the scenes.”
McBrien also mentioned a recurring problem at this year’s Something In The Water music festival – pick pocketing. The captain said officers will keep a better eye out for thefts next year.