‘Quality-of-life issues’: New Bedford police arrest 14 people in downtown area to date in May

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Police have made a total of 14 arrests in downtown New Bedford to date in May as part of a crackdown on illegal activity there.

Officers “have focused their efforts on addressing quality-of-life issues and groups congregating in the downtown area,” police said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

Since May 1, 14 arrests have been made around the Serta Bus Terminal, Mechanics Lane, and Main Library in response to growing complaints, police said. The arrests were made for various offenses including unarmed robbery, warrants, open containers of alcohol, possession of crack cocaine, and disorderly conduct.

Several arrests were made as officers saw people loitering in the area and drinking alcohol on the sidewalks. Two men were arrested after officers saw them smoking crack cocaine on Mechanic’s Lane. Some were people with active arrest warrants, police said.

“Our city’s downtown district is important to us, and when people are actively drinking, openly using drugs, and being overall disorderly in the area, we are compelled to act,” Police Chief Paul Oliveira said in a statement. “I’m grateful for the efforts being put forth in the downtown area by our officers.”

New Bedford police “has a strong outreach program in place. We also work closely with numerous community partners to ensure that ample resources are provided to those struggling with addiction, alcoholism, mental illness, and homelessness,” police said.

“Arrests are a last resort,” police said.

Anyone who would like to share information with police can do so anonymously by visiting the department’s website, newbedfordpd.com, or by calling 508-99-CRIME.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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