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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – St. Louis city police are kicking off another ‘hot spot’ policing effort today. It started with a 10a.m. roll call at North Patrol on Union. This time around the officers are targeting five north St. Louis neighborhoods that have all seen dramatic increases in crimes against people. The five neighborhoods where police are increasing their presence are Kingsway East, Lewis Place, the Ville, the Greater Ville and Vandeventer.

The latest numbers show crimes against people are up between 30-70% in those neighborhoods versus the same period last year.
Four women between 15-25 years old were found murdered in The Greater Ville area in two double murders between April 30th and May 3rd.

The Greater Ville along with Wells-Goodfellow have more murders than any other neighborhoods in the city this year with six.
Two men were also found murdered on Mother`s Day- one in Kingsway East; another on the border of the Ville and the Greater Ville.

In one of those cases, a baby was found in the back seat of a car with a murdered man in the front seat. The baby wasn`t hurt.
Hot spot policing has come under fire by some city aldermen including Antonio French.

French calls it ‘whack a mole’ policing because officers only increase their presence in an area for a short amount of time.

At the roll call, police commanders defended the strategy saying it is working but the challenge is sustaining the gains made when officers are swarming a neighborhood and taking criminals off the streets.

Two of the communities in this latest hot spot effort are in Alderman French`s ward.  We will see what happens as the latest effort unfolds.