Making Waikiki Safer

Personal lockers on beaches proposed to prevent beach theft


HONOLULU (KHON2) — A fun day in the sun can be ruined by a thief on the beach, but personal lockers on beaches may soon be available for you and your family.

“Theft of personal belongings on the beach is one of our major crime problems,” stated Rick Egged, Waikiki Improvement Association president. “One of the things we’re talking about is imploring the city to go ahead and move forward with putting lockers on the beach.”

It’s one of many new crime prevention efforts state officials discussed at the annual Visitor Public Safety Conference held at the Hawaii Convention Center on Wednesday, Dec. 6.

“We can say that Hawaii is a beautiful place to come and visit, play and vacation and work and reside in Waikiki,” said Mufi Hannemann, Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association president and CEO. “But if it’s not a safe place, people will not come. If it’s not a safe place, they won’t want to work in places like Waikiki.”

Other proposals include having more police presence, harsher penalties for repeat criminals and health clinics for the homeless.

“We’re going back to the mental health issues that affect some of our homeless,” said Egged. Particularly being able to identify them, make sure they get treatment, and also to create respite centers. I mean, these aren’t people that are committing a crime, but they need help.”

According to tourism officials, the Waikiki Safe and Sound Campaign from September 2022 dramatically lowered rates of property and violent crimes. This is attributed to the Honolulu Police Department, attorney’s office and courts providing better sentencing, per Egged.

“Pre Waikiki Safe and Sound, we had less than ten people on geographic restriction for crimes committed in Waikiki. Now there’s over 200,” said Egged.

The tourism industry is the state’s largest industry with over 250,000 jobs and $9 billion in tax revenue, per Hannemann.