VENICE BEACH, CA – The famous Venice Beach boardwalk in California, which for years has been a vibrant tourist attraction with its beautiful views of the Pacific ocean, rows of stores, and quirky street performers, has in recent years devolved into an eyesore of makeshift tents and encampments populated by an ever-growing group of homeless people that have made the area “violent” and “dangerous,” according to reports.
Local residents – who are paying some of the highest taxes in the nation for the privilege to live there – are growing increasingly angry at the intrusion of the Venice Beach homeless population into their lives, which has brought with it increasing crime rates, drugs, arson and assaults, including shootings and stabbings, reports say.
Video of many of the issues – including multiple fights among apparently mentally ill homeless and even exploding tents – have been posted frequently on Twitter.
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Violent robberies in the area have gone up by 177 percent and the number of incidents where people have been assaulted by a homeless person wielding a deadly weapon have jumped 162 percent, according to the Los Angeles Police Department statistics.
Over the years, the number of homeless in the area has jumped by over 50 percent, according to Fox News. During the pandemic, in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in prisons, many inmates were released and ended up becoming transients; currently, there are over 200 tents set up at Venice Beach, and the homeless issue has now gone city-wide.
Hundreds of local residents have signed a letter that was sent to government officials, describing their plight. However, local California politicians have noted the difficulty in finding shelters and housing for the homeless population increasing by the day in the state – and pointed out that some homeless even enjoy living on the beach – so it is likely that the letter will be falling on deaf ears for the time being.
“Venice’s world famous beach and boardwalk are crippled,” the residents’ letter says. “Local children are refusing to come to the beach because they’re frightened by what they’ve witnessed. Seniors who live on or near the boardwalk are terrified of walking in their own neighborhoods.”