Chicago Officials Hope Demolishing Vacant Buildings Will Help in Reducing Crime

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Chicago crime statistics,Abandoned buildings and vacant lots are frequently criminal hot spots. As Chicago officials search for ways to reduce crime within the city, the Chicago Department of Buildings has initiated their plan to demolish over 900 vacant homes and board up many others in hopes of curbing illegal activity. While the city has taken similar action in the past – over 250 buildings were demolished in 2012 – this project is different, as the Department of Buildings is working with the Chicago Police to specifically target high crime areas throughout the city. The first of the 900 homes to be demolished was brought down in February, with many more to come, mostly in the Calumet, Englewood, Harrison, and Deering police districts.

Fewer Locations for Crime to Take Place

Chicago officials say the goal is to remove potential gathering places for drug users, gang activity, prostitution, and other illegal activities. “We plan on expanding it to different locations throughout the city,” says the Chief of Patrol of the Chicago PD. “This is just one of the tools in our toolbox that we are going to utilize to make the city safer.” Police say that by fast tracking the demolition of these abandoned properties, criminals will have a tougher time finding locations to commit crimes. “These vacant buildings, we know that they are targets for gangs to gather and commit nefarious activity, such as storing weapons or selling illegal drugs.”

In addition to the 900 some homes slated to be demolished, the city plans to board up hundreds of others. In 2015, the city boarded up around 3,000 vacant buildings in hopes of deterring criminal activity, and 425 have already been boarded up this year.

Building Communities Up

While some of the future vacant lots may be passed off to private developers, city officials are hoping that in addition to curbing crime, demolishing the vacant homes will help build up Chicago communities, thanks to an effort known as the Large Lot Program. According to the city, the Large Lot program helps re-establish communities by allowing vacated, city owned lots to sell to individuals who already own property on the same block for as low as $1. The city says the program aims to “stabilize neighborhoods, control public access to properties and prevent loitering.” The Chicago Buildings Commissioner says that thanks to the city’s efforts, not only will crime be reduced, but community members will also be able to repurpose the abandoned spaces to enhance their community.

Protection from Criminal Charges

Be it on an abandoned lot or elsewhere, committing a crime can lead to serious consequences. As Chicago officials expand efforts to curb crime within the city, everyone should refrain from illegal activity. If you are facing criminal charges, your future may be in jeopardy. You need the help of a qualified Chicago area criminal attorney. Attorney Hal M. Garfinkel and his team have years of combined experience handling a variety of criminal cases. Do not leave your fate in the hands of the Chicago legal system. Call 312-270-0999 today to schedule your free consultation with us. We offer affordable, effective solutions to our clients.

Sources:

https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20160223/roseland/city-speed-up-demolition-of-vacant-buildings-cut-down-on-crime

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2016/02/23/city-targeting-vacant-buildings-for-demolition-to-reduce-crime/

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