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College Hill group tracks people charged with crimes in the neighborhood

Posted: 10:32 PM, Jun 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-13 02:32:43Z

CINCINNATI — Amos Robinson spends multiple days each week in court. He isn’t a lawyer or a judge, and he has no criminal record in Hamilton County. He’s a member of College Hill Court Watch, a group of neighbors dedicated to tracking and testifying about crime in College Hill.

“This is where I live, and this is where I expect to have peace and safety and quiet,” he said Wednesday.

In the organization’s 15 years of existence, College Hill Court Watch members have created and maintained files on more than 600 people charged with crimes in the neighborhood. Some of those members, like Robinson, go to hearings and testify in favor of harsher sentences for recent charges. They’ve also formed what Robinson described as essential partnerships with the Cincinnati Police Department, local churches and other community organizations.

Robinson said he believes Court Watch has been a factor in driving down crime in College Hill.

“(It says,) ‘Hey, there’s somebody who will stand up,’” he added. “And most important, to let the criminal element know we’re not going to let you build up and take over this.”

Public safety data collected by the Cincinnati Police Department indicates College Hill has seen significantly fewer reported crimes in June 2019 than June 2016 — reports of robberies, thefts and burglaries all decreased over the four-year period. It’s seen more, however, than June 2018, during which every recorded type of crime except robbery and auto theft hit a four-year low.
Data collected by the Cincinnati Police Department indicates College Hill has seen significantly fewer reported crimes in June 2019 than June 2016 — reports of robberies, thefts and burglaries all decreased over the four-year period. It’s seen more, however, than June 2018, during which every recorded type of crime except robbery and auto theft hit a four-year low.
Still, Robinson said past years of his 30-year stay in the neighborhood had been much worse than this one.

“I remember when we’d have 5-10 cases a day,” he said. “Now, I’ve only got three this whole week. Yeah, it drops.”

Citywide data also shows that, although College Hill saw a slight uptick in reported crime between 2018 and 2019, Cincinnati overall has experienced a nearly 8% drop.

He believes in the mission of Court Watch, and he believes close community partnerships are the key to achieving it.

“Everybody has to be on the same page,” he said. “You need everybody there that this is going to effect. Your churches, schools, everything.”

College Hill doesn’t rank among the neighborhoods with the highest number of reported crimes thusfar in 2019. According to CincyInsights, the top five neighborhoods where the most crimes have been reported are:

  • Westwood (749)
  • West Price Hill (326)
  • East Price Hill (302)
  • Riverfront (268)
  • Avondale (262)