DA's office attempts to battle crime in new ways with neighborhood

Monday, Oct. 7, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

The Meadowbrook neighborhood is known for crime, but the District Attorney's office is working to combat the issues with a personal touch. (Source: WRDW)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) --District Attorney Natalie Paine is focusing in on one neighborhood in particular to try to clean it up and force out gangs.

It’s the Meadowbrook area, but what is it about Meadowbrook that draws in crime?

It's called the broken windows theory. When people see broken windows or trash on the ground, it can be a sign that people don't care and can attract criminal behavior.

Unfortunately, that's been the case in the Meadowbrook area, which has experienced its fair share of violent crime and gang activity over the years.

Paine says the problem is heightened by the fact that there's an elementary school in the neighborhood.

When kids see graffiti-ed gang symbols, or grow up around crime themselves, she says it gives children the impression that this behavior is normal.

“So I think it's important to eliminate that from their lives so that they don't believe that it's normal and it doesn't become something that is part of their every life,” Paine said.

Paine and her office say they go out to the neighborhood every once in a while to clean up trash and erase graffiti themselves.

The broken windows problem isn't exclusive to Meadowbrook. That's why she says it's important for everyone to take a personal interest in their community.

"In theory, if you're not proactive about it, it could happen to you in your neighborhood. I unfortunately see this in all types of different areas in my circuit," said Paine.

The City of Aiken Department of Public Safety says they actively try to keep all neighborhoods clean to avoid crime. North Augusta Department of Public Safety says they encourage people to call the police when they notice their neighborhoods start to become disorderly.

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