Roanoke City Police are stepping up patrols in the Williamson Road area to cut down on criminal activity overnight and into the early morning hours.
Chief Deputy Tim Jones said the area has been dealing with this issue for about 18 months now. Large groups of people have been gathering inside and outside of various businesses, at times resulting in criminal activity.
"It is a concern for us and a concern for the community," Jones said. "We are going to bring all of our resources together."
As part of their strategy, police will be reviewing dispatch history to pinpoint places they have been frequently called to in the past. They also plan to position police at those places and others that could be targeted.
Wendy Jones, the executive director of the Williamson Road Area Business Association, said it will be a tremendous help.
"These types of crimes are having a horrible impact on not only businesses, but the residents in the area," she said. "We want people to know this is not going to be tolerated. This area is seeing a lot of positive change as well."