SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The safety of residents living in the Springfield Lower Liberty Heights neighborhood has become a big concern. As they face dangers related to frequent gun violence, cars being broken into and tampered with, and other crimes.

The Lower Liberty Heights Council met Wednesday evening to start the conversation with the community about how to prevent these acts. Ward 1 city councilor, Maria Perez says there shouldn’t be more than five car break-ins happening in a week.

Adding this will be a step toward bringing awareness on how to make residents feel safer. Since these crimes consistently happen during overnight hours, Perez wants to address the street lighting, specifically on Franklin Street.

“We need to put more strategy in place and be more consistent with that strategy.”

Maria Perez

The Lower Liberty Heights Council Secretary Gladys Riveria adds, “We have to develop more programs in the community to stop the crime happening, so if there is more activity, fewer crimes. And more people out there being visible in their neighborhood.”

The Springfield Police Department advises the following to ensure physical security:

  • Observe your surroundings and people in your immediate vicinity
  • Look around before leaving and entering any space
  • Maintain your personal space. If someone moves inside your comfort zone, simply move away
  • Do not use outside ATMs at night
  • When walking, walk facing oncoming traffic
  • Always lock your car
  • Park in a well-lit area
  • Don’t leave your keys in your car
  • Do not leave bags/purses or any valuables

To further resolve and dive into these issues and other issues in the community Perez expects to create a safety subcommittee in the near future. For now, if you are a resident within this area it’s advised by Springfield Police Department to report any crimes you do see. As it helps support the police in solving and resolving crime issues.

According to the Springfield Police Department, the following are suspicious activities that should alert you to call the police:

  • People loitering around cars, if they are looking inside, trying the door handles
  • Forcing entry into a house, or a person climbing out a window
  • Walking or driving through an area, making several or slow passes by an area
  • Loitering around schools, bus stops, parks, or scheduled areas

You can also text SOLVE plus a message (include city) to CRIMES (274637).