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Dutchtown neighbors grill city leaders about crime

Police data show crime is up 40 percent in Dutchtown this April over last April.

ST. LOUIS — Murders, shootings, burglaries. The people who live in St. Louis' Dutchtown neighborhood are fed up with it all. Tuesday night, they took their frustration to city leaders.

"This spring has been one of the more active, if not the most active, since we lived in the neighborhood,” Joel Silliman said.

He’s lived in Dutchtown for nearly a decade.

Police data show crime is up 40 percent in Dutchtown this April over last April. Aggravated assaults are up 130 percent.

"I don't know that there's an easy explanation as to what in particular is going, on but we're going to attack it as best we can,” Chief John Hayden told 5 On Your Side.

Hayden is talking about his so-called “rectangles.” Part of Dutchtown is included in one of those three zones with increased patrols and resources to tackle crime, but some fear it's not working.

“There's really been a lack of a police presence,” Silliman said.

Mayor Lyda Krewson said she believes in the police chief’s plan.

"It's a matter of concentrating resources here without taking resources away from other neighborhoods,” she said.

The chief said that strategy was a success in North St. Louis last year, and he believes it will work in Dutchtown, too.

But at least one woman in the audience called the meeting a waste of time.

"I don't think this is a waste of time. I think this is a really important process, and I know you all are very frustrated,” Krewson said.

Neighbors also said they want to see the leaders in their community. Chief Hayden said he’ll be back in Dutchtown in his mobile office soon.