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Safe Streets CT pushes for legislature to take action on juvenile crime

People from all across Connecticut raised their voices at a community meeting after the state has seen a rise in car thefts, break-ins and more recently.

GLASTONBURY, Conn. — Safe Streets Connecticut is pushing for the legislature to have a special session to come up with solutions to the surge in juvenile crime.

The group is calling for a justice system that holds juvenile offenders accountable and provides intervention services.

RELATED: 5 teens arrested in East Lyme for vehicle theft after crash, chase

“The increasing crime wave is simply unacceptable,” John Porriello with Safe Streets CT said. “What we want to see is for there to be intervention so that these young criminals aren’t groomed to be older criminals and future prisoners.”

People from all across the state raised their voices at a community meeting held by the group at the Riverfront Community Center.

Over the past few months, Connecticut has seen everything from car thefts to car break-ins and much more.

Back in June, a jogger was killed in a New Britain hit and run. The suspect is a 17-year-old who was arrested 13 times in 3.5 years.

The same month, five people, including two juveniles, were arrested after attempted car break-ins in Glastonbury. They lead police on a chase and a crashed into a car.

In July, Glastonbury police said a woman was shot at when she tried to scare away teens trying to break into her car.

“Right now it’s up to us, all the neighbors to patrol this,” Marty Moran from Wethersfield said.

Some Police departments said their hands are tied when it comes to these kinds of cases.

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“With the cars and the thefts. We’re seeing a lot of predatory behavior and that’s what worries me, is because we do not have the tools we need as police officers to engage in proper investigation, arrest and conviction,” Jay Kehoe, director of public safety for Marlborough, said.

Safe Streets CT is calling on lawmakers to pass new laws that will hold teens accountable for their actions and get them help.

But getting there will require support from more legislators.

RELATED: CT lawmakers discuss juvenile crime and violence

“Residents want one thing: to be safe. Is that too much to ask? Unfortunately when I asked democratic leadership, they said yes. I am told this issue will not be addressed in the September special session,” Rep. Jill Barry (D-Glastonbury) said. “Inaction will affect all of our communities.”

Barry said she plans to continue to push for solutions next session.

Elisha Machado is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at emachado@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 


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