By Erika Ferrando | WWL-TV | April 11, 2022
NEW ORLEANS — Violent crime has been rising every year in New Orleans since 2019, according to the Metropolitan Crime Commission. According to NOPD, carjackings are up 47 percent between 2021 and 2022.
There have been 114 carjacking calls for service since the start of the year in New Orleans, according to MCC president, Rafael Goyeneche. He said that’s a 307 percent increase since 2019 when NOPD saw record low crime numbers.
“Carjackings were barely a blip on the radar screen,” Goyeneche said.
That has changed. Goyeneche believes the pandemic is partly to blame.
“The people who were committing armed robbery didn’t have their usual prey available because people weren’t on foot,” he said. “So they shifted to cars.”
He says homicides are also up, with 77 so far this year. That’s a 51 percent increase since last year, but those numbers have been climbing since 2019 when New Orleans saw the lowest murder total in nearly 50 years.
Goyeneche credits proactive policing at that time for the record low crime 2019 statistics.
“We can’t just put all our eggs in just responding to calls for service because that means a crime has already been committed. They need to be proactive about it, identify the Tyrone Steeles that are out there in the community that are responsible for a disproportionate amount of violent crime we’ve been experiencing for three years,” Goyeneche said.
Steele, 18, was arrested two weeks ago and has been called “One of New Orleans’ most violent offenders.” He was booked in four murders. Goyeneche believes there are only a few violent offenders committing the majority of crimes.
“Him off the streets now means he’s not there to commit additional crimes,” Goyeneche said.
A NOPD spokesperson said, “NOPD is out making the arrests and with a fully functioning Criminal Justice System, we’re confident accused offenders will be held accountable. We also ask for help from the community. Citizens who see something can help a great deal by letting us know what they see when they see it.”