The New Bedford City Council discussed the need for increased police presence along some north end streets during Thursday night's meeting after what some councilors describe as a rise in criminal activity. 

Two motions were field by Councilor at Large Debora Coelho, and co-sponsored by Councilors at Large Ian Abreu, Naomi Carney and Ward 2 Councilor Steven Martins, to increase foot patrols along parts of North Front Street and to address "quality of life issues" in the neighborhood spanning from Coggeshall Street and Nash Road.

Coelho added that even with the nice weather coming to an end, it's a good time to get a jump on the problem for next year.

"We have to figure out a plan to quell this because we still have nice days ahead of us and we got to get a leg up for next season," said Coelho.

Added foot patrols may also lead to breaking down language barriers between law enforcement and the large immigrant population in the neighborhood.

"I really want to protect the vulnerable, new immigrants in that area," Coelho said. "They cannot speak for themselves, they're not there yet."

Aside from crime, the second motion suggests there are issues with keeping sidewalks clear and safe for pedestrians. It states that sidewalks are blocked by day-long sidewalk sales, large gatherings of people at all hours of the day and night, garbage and car repairs.

The Committee on Public Safety and Neighborhoods, Health Department and Department of Inspectional Services have been asked to look into these issues further.

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