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Police: Peavey Plaza Temporarily Closed, Arrests Up 300%

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Peavey Plaza is being temporarily closed for cleaning and maintenance, according to the Minneapolis Police Department.

Police say they recognize the poor conditions of those who have been living in Peavey Plaza, saying they are no longer people associated with Occupy Minnesota, but are homeless individuals in need of shelter.

These people are able to stay at a temporary shelter, being set up at First Covenant Church, while Peavey Plaza is closed.

Occupy Minnesota protesters were using the Peavey Plaza space since April 7, but police say there haven't been organized Occupy events in the last several months.

Comparing crime statistics from the same period last year, police say they are seeing a 260-percent increase in calls for service and a more than 300-percent increase in arrests. Although the majority of calls and arrests are for low-level crimes (like public intoxication and public urination), police say there have been several crimes including sexual conduct, robbery and serious assault.

The people now living in Peavey Plaza are some of the most vulnerable people in the community, according to the Minneapolis Police.

Police are working with St. Stephens Shelter, the Salvation Army and other organizations to help the homeless in this area.

If you are interested in helping, contact St. Stephens at 612-874-0311.

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