Nearly half of respondents to the 2020 Victoria Police Department community survey listed social order as their main concern.
Released Wednesday, the results showed that 48 per cent of residents and businesses who participated in the survey were most concerned with the maintenance of social order in their communities. This element of policing topped the list by a wide margin over the next highest concerns; theft (10 per cent), traffic (nine per cent), crime in general and break and enters (six per cent each).
While the survey found 85 per cent of respondents were either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the overall work of VicPD, just 56 per cent definitively agreed with the statement “VicPD is accountable” – nearly 38 per cent answered “I don’t know.”
On safety, 93 per cent said they feel very safe or somewhat safe walking in their neighbourhood during the day, but that number fell to 66 per cent at night. Feeling safe walking downtown was 82 per cent, but just 39 per cent at night.
Of those who answered a question about the level of crime around their home or business, 55 per cent stated it has remained about the same, while 33 per cent said it has increased. Suggesting ways the department might better serve the public and deal with problems that arise, more patrols/being more visible topped the list at 23 per cent, followed by hiring more officers (16 per cent), talking to people and doing more crime prevention (13 per cent each).
The survey recorded 969 respondents, including 619 who identified as living in or operating a business in Victoria and 339 in Esquimalt.
Chief Const. Del Manak thanked all who took part in the online survey.
“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,” he said in a release.
The survey has been done every three years since 2014, but the department plans to make the survey an annual undertaking, to be able to track trends and the needs of the community better as part of its strategic plan. The trends seen from the first survey to the current one will be among the focuses of a video presentation to be released soon.
View the full results of the survey on the VicPD community dashboard at vicpd.ca/open-vicpd/.