The Victoria Police Department has released its most recent community survey and the data highlights that one out of every three Victoria residents feel crime has increased over the last five years.
The data unveiled in the 2020 VicPD Community Survey suggests that 34 per cent of residents believe crime in the city has increased – a jump of 10 points since the last survey released in 2017.
The VicPD Community Survey is a collection of data from a random sample of surveys delivered between March 4 and May 15 of 2020. In total, the Victoria Police Department said it issued 2958 surveys and received 969 completed packages in return – a return rate of 33 per cent.
While 34 per cent of respondents indicated they felt crime was on the rise over the last five years, 56 per cent felt that it had remained about the same while 9 per cent believed that it has decreased in that same span.
The leading concern for crime by community survey respondents was in regards to social order. This category is defined by VicPD as being crime linked to homelessness, panhandling and drug activity.
Crimes linked to the social order category appeared in the top five areas of concern for 48 per cent of the respondents. Other common areas of concern included theft, traffic, and break and enters.
The community survey also indicated that only 41 per cent of residents feel safe at night in downtown Victoria or Esquimalt Plaza. Although 84 per cent of respondents said they feel safe during the day in the same area, this is a decrease of eight per cent since the last survey released in 2017.
Although the 2020 community survey indicates that many feel crime is increasing and there is greater concerns about safety, the number of respondents who said they were victims of crime has decreased since the 2017 survey.
The data suggests that 29 per cent of the 2020 survey respondents were a victim of crime in the last five years compared to 33 per cent in the 2017 survey.
Victoria residents also indicated an 86 per cent overall satisfaction rate with the Victoria Police Department in the 2020 community survey.
Currently, VicPD has been releasing these surveys on a three-year cycle, however, the department says it is shifting to an annual cycle moving forward.
Police say this is in an effort to better track trends and “the needs of our community as part of our new Strategic Plan.”
“Thank you to all of the residents and businesses in Victoria and Esquimalt who participated in the 2020 VicPD Community Survey,” said Chief Constable Del Manak. “This survey is a cornerstone of our engagement efforts as it allows us to measure the public’s perception of community safety while highlighting how VicPD is doing as your police service.”
Anyone with comments or questions about the survey can reach out to VicPD by email at [email protected].