South Philly residents find solidarity after string of violent crimes

Justin Udo
February 04, 2020 - 9:50 pm
South Philly residents at a Town Watch organization meeting Tuesday evening at Donatucci Library

Justin Udo/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Violent crimes in South Philadelphia are putting a lot of residents on edge, but neighbors are working to take action and stand up against them.

Livia Sestini has lived in South Philadelphia her whole life but says, for the first time ever, she feels unsafe in her own neighborhood. She came out to a Town Watch organization meeting Tuesday evening at Donatucci Library.

"I was definitely nervous just walking here. It was a few blocks away," she said. 

Sestini says a rash of violent acts in the area, many of which are documented on a Take Back South Philly group on Facebook, are making neighbors nervous. 

"People are just getting robbed and mugged and intruded into their homes. You just don't feel safe at all," she added. 

Sestini says she learned some valuable lessons at the meeting.

"If you see something you have to say something, and just work together as a family with our neighbors," she said. 

Sestini says she's happy she came to the watch meeting and she's encouraging her neighbors to do the same, saying she feels better when conversations happen.

This is the third watch meeting over the last few weeks, where officials say hundreds of residents have come out to learn and voice their concerns.