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Honolulu Crime Rates Continue To Increase And Tourists Are Being Targeted

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Honolulu residents and tourists alike have noticed an increase in crimes in the city. Indeed, data seems to show that this is the case and a specific data seems to be closely related to it. The increase in crime is directly proportional to the rise in visitors to the islands.

police car in honolulu

Now that covid restrictions have been lifted, the number of visitors is slowly returning to the pre-pandemic levels, and cases of violent crimes are rising more prominently in some places than others. A total of 788,931 visitors came to the Hawaiian Islands in March 2022, compared to 928,849 visitors in March 2019, showing that tourism is speeding up.

police officer patrolling in waikiki beach

Waikiki is once again the central neighborhood. It’s the most visited in Honolulu and Hawaii, so the streets and beaches are always packed with thousands of tourists every day. Unfortunately, that’s also Waikiki’s flaw, as some criminals take advantage of visitors to commit their crimes.

Recently, a robbery spree happened on the weekend where all the victims were visitors. The most violent occurred on the beach, where one of the victims was beaten until he lost consciousness. Also, two other episodes involved gunpoint. The first was a couple in a street assault, and the other was a carjacking in broad daylight at a traffic light. All of them happened in Waikiki.

waikiki beach at night

The numbers show that violent crimes are indeed on the rise. According to the Crime Mapping, from January to February, violent crimes reached 71. In the last two months of March and April, this number rose to an astonishing 102. Also, the number of non-violent crimes rose in the same period from 859 to a mesmerizing 993. 

honolulu police car

Numbers also indicate that in the region of Waikiki, larceny is still by far the most common crime, followed by assault. Stealing from inattentive visitors happens regularly, but it’s still something with harmful consequences as some belongings can be expensive (like watches and purses) and very personal (like passports and cellphones).

Although larceny is not that violent, the nature of the crime makes it complicated. For example, on March 19, a 20-year-old boy was shot to death on Kalakaua Avenue (one of the busiest avenues in Waikiki). Two weeks later, a couple was brutally assaulted in the same area. Many violent crimes seem to occur more and more often in tourist areas. 

police officers in honolulu

The Police Union President, Robert Cavaco, spoke about the topic, confirming that the nature of the crimes is indeed more violent

“We are seeing an increase in crimes in Waikiki, especially the intensity of the crimes, your robberies, your stabbings, your aggravated assaults,” said Cavaco.

waikiki beach view

Visitors are staggered by the number of crimes, evoking a sense of fear and tension among those unaware. Police patrols are everywhere, and emergency sirens are among some of the scenarios visitors may encounter while vacationing in Waikiki.

Honolulu is a substantial city. With a population of 351,000 inhabitants and being the central hub for the 10 million visitors every year (2019), it is no surprise that it has its share of crimes.

streets of honolulu

The main issue revolves around the fact that violent crimes are rising as much as visitors are getting back to the islands. This summer, all the events will go with no restrictions, so it’s essential to be aware of the dangers visitors can encounter when on vacations. Not only safe wise but also respecting the place, as many locals can become very uncomfortable with some visitors attitudes.


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