Ybor Business owners say "Crime has gone down" despite negative perception

Ybor Business owners say "Crime has gone down" despite negative perception of district

YBOR CITY- More than 2,000 people showed up to a concert in Ybor City Saturday night that never went on.

Instead of going home, the crowd got rowdy.

Vince Beck, who grew up near Ybor City say the district has changed so much since the 50’s

“I remember the old men in their Guevara’s. They would sit on 7th Avenue and play dominos and smoke cigarettes,” says Beck. “Now, it's just a place to come and get drunk.”

Despite what occurred last night, Ybor Business owners like Roberto Torres have been working hard for years to change that perception.

With several meetings, a month, owners are able to get updates on how the district is doing. The latest was some good news.

“Crime rate had dropped in Ybor 44% for the last 6 years steadily every year. So, that's double digit numbers going negative,” says Torres.

Ybor City was the pilot for the Tampa neighborhood watch program for the Tampa police department.

Torres says with officers building relationships with business owners and people, it's cleaned up the crime.

“Making sure that business owners were active and they were good neighbors and watching what was happening in the district is paramount,” he says.

So, if you have a negative perception of Ybor, Torres says to give it a try.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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