According to the results of a recent Siena College poll, public safety has emerged as a major concern among the majority of New Yorkers, with more than fifty percent of them expressing concerns about the possibility of becoming a victim of crime.
The poll, which was released on 12th July 2023, sheds light on the growing apprehension among many New York residents regarding their safety. It is evident from this study that crime prevention and law enforcement will need to be a key focus of policymakers and community leaders in the coming months and years. The poll findings should come as no surprise as the issue of public safety has been a longstanding concern among New Yorkers.
However, this issue must be addressed through a comprehensive and collaborative approach that involves the community, law enforcement agencies, and policymakers working together to find lasting solutions.
NY Safety Thermometer Shows Crime a Growing Concern
Nearly two-thirds of participants (61%) are concerned about being a victim of crime, with 21% very concerned and 40% somewhat concerned.
A majority of voters (51%) are concerned about safety in public places, such as houses of worship, schools, and shopping areas. This concern is shared by both Democrats (51%) and Republicans (53%) expressing nearly equal levels of concern.
Nearly three-quarters of residents (70%) are worried about being a victim of crime, with a significant number (40%) somewhat worried, and (30%) very worried.
Almost four in ten New Yorkers (38%) have felt threatened by others’ behavior in transportation settings of planes, trains, and automobiles. This feeling is more common in New York City (45%) than upstate (33%) or in the NYC suburbs (31%).
A staggering one-third of people polled (36%) felt threatened by a stranger’s behavior in the past 12 months in a public place.
The poll also found that at least 10% of NYC residents claimed they have been the victim of a crime in the past 12 months and 20% of New Yorkers bought a firearm in the same period.
Another significant finding shows that number of people have taken steps to improve their personal safety. These steps include purchasing home-security cameras (34%), professionally monitored security systems (24%), and non-firearm personal safety devices (26%), including pepper spray and stun guns.
The statement: “I’ve never been this worried about my personal safety,” was agreed to by 41% of those surveyed, while 58% said it has remained the same.
Only 11% of New Yorkers believe that crime is not a serious problem, while the vast majority (87%) believe that it is either very or somewhat serious. This suggests that crime is a major concern for many New York residents overall.
Don Levy, who directs the Siena College Research Institute, has made a statement regarding the concern of residents of New York regarding crime. According to Levy, the issue of crime is not just a problem that only happens to people who are far from them. He has stated that an alarming number of people, which accounts for at least 87%, believe that crime is a significant problem in the state; while a large portion, which makes up 57%, feel that this is an issue in their community.
Moreover, he has noted that a majority of residents are personally worried about becoming victims of crime. This fear includes concerns about the safety of themselves and their loved ones in public places. Many have taken necessary precautions to try and protect themselves and their loved ones as best as they can from potential dangers. This shows the gravity of the current crime situation in New York and how people are not taking any chances with their safety.
What Can Be Done?
The increase in crime has been a major issue for NYC Mayor Eric Adams, who has made public safety a top priority. However, Adams has faced criticism for his handling of the issue. Some critics have accused him of being too soft on crime, while others have said that he has not done enough to address the root causes of crime.
In addition to Adams, other city leaders have also been criticized for their handling of the crime issue. For example, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) has been accused of being understaffed and underfunded.
The failures of those in charge to help address the crime issue have left many New Yorkers feeling frustrated and unsafe.