Tampa leaders to address number of sexual predators living in Ybor | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

TAMPA, Fla. — “We started noticing probably in 2011 the clustering of sexually predatory people in our neighborhood,” said Kelly Grimsdale.

She’s lived in the V.M. Ybor area since 2007.

“I have 72 sexually predatory people within a quarter mile of my house, 91 within a half mile,” said Grimsdale.

Over the years, she’s noticed more sexual offenders and sexual predators move into her community.

It’s something Grimsdale and her neighbors have been trying to get Tampa city leaders to change.

“Every so often, we can get it before city council, but there’s never any resolve, and there’s never any relief for our neighborhood,” said Grimsdale.

Most recently, back in October 2021, neighbors raised concerns again about the number of sexual predators living in their community. A city councilman made a motion for the police department to respond to their issues.

After presenting some reports in November 2021, TPD said USF was conducting a study about sex offenders in Ybor.

That report was initially supposed to be ready in December 2022 but has been pushed back multiple times since then.

It’s finally expected to be shared at Thursday’s city council meeting.

“It’s extremely frustrating. I mean, I feel, I feel like the city has turned their back on our neighborhood in so many ways,” said Grimsdale.

Neighbors told ABC Action News that they understand sexual predators and offenders need a place to go, but they’d like city leaders to enforce some type of an anti-clustering rule so they don’t have such high concentration in their community.

“I think it makes us all feel not very safe and also wondering why are all these people being funneled to our neighborhood?” said Grimsdale.

ABC Action News reached out to the City of Tampa and Tampa Police for answers. Officials said areas of the city or county that are not near schools and playgrounds tend to be where housing is available for registered sex offenders.

Neighbors hope the data shared at Thursday’s city council meeting will shed light on their situation and encourage leaders to help them find a solution.

“It doesn’t draw businesses to the area. People that live here, I think maybe a lot of them don’t realize that we have that concentration,” said Grimsdale.

“People need to be aware of this issue. The city needs to do something, and we’ve been asking for them to do something for so long. Enough is enough. We have too many of these people,” she added.

The city council meeting begins at 9 a.m.

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