Date: Friday, June 4th, 2021
Victoria, BC – We recently released the results of our 2021 VicPD Community Survey. The VicPD Community Survey is an opportunity for us to reach out to the communities of Victoria and Esquimalt to hear from them how we are doing.
Conducted in 2014, 2017 and 2020 before moving to an annual process for 2021, the VicPD Community Survey allows us to identify and track trends in the responses.
The VicPD Community Survey is conducted by a random, statistically significant sample of residents and businesses in Victoria and Esquimalt. This approach forms part of our efforts to get as close as possible to an unbiased perspective. Last week, we took an in-depth look at our methodology and why we trust the results.
You can review the full results and methodology on our Open VicPD Community Survey Portal here.
Changes in Perception of Crime
Each time we conduct the survey, we ask participants for their perception of crime. Perception of crime is an important measure which helps us understand how safe people feel. Perception of crime tells us what people think and feel and may not mirror crime rates or changes in the crime severity index.
We asked respondents to consider the last 5 years and select the most appropriate response. There are three main responses – crime has increased, crime has decreased, or crime has remained the same. This year, we saw significant changes in all three response areas. For context, we present these changes over the 8-year trend period below.
Increase in crime
There has been an increase in those who reported feeling crime has increased. In 2014, 18% of respondents felt crime had increased. 2017 and 2020 saw a upward trend, to 34% in 2020. In the one-year period between 2020 and 2021, the feeling that crime has increased rose 21 points to 54% of respondents. The increased perception of crime over the last five years mirrors the trend in the increase on both the crime rate and the crime severity index over a similar time period. VicPD’s jurisdiction of Victoria and Esquimalt has the highest crime severity index of any jurisdiction in BC that is policed by a municipal police service.
Decrease in Crime
There has been a decrease in those who reported feeling crime has decreased. In 2014, 22% of respondents felt crime had decreased. There was a drop in this figure between 2017 (19%) and 2020 (9%). In the one-year period between 2020 and 2021, the feeling that crime has decreased fell from 9% to 6%.
Remained the same
Similarly, there has also been a decrease in those who reported feeling crime has remained the same. This measure showed little variation, from 56% in 2014, to 52% in 2017, and back to 56% in 2020. In the one-year period between 2020 and 2021 however, the feeling that crime has remained the same fell significantly, by 17 points to 39%.
Our Key Insights
The largest change in these measures is the one-year jump of 21% of those reporting that crime has increased. That increase appears to account for the drop in those who feel crime over the last five years has remained the same or decreased.
Up next | Do respondents feel safe in Victoria’s Downtown and Esquimalt Plaza?
Next week, we’ll look at another survey question as to whether or not respondents feel safe in Victoria’s Downtown and Esquimalt Plaza. For the full survey details, including responses to all the questions, methodology and percentage of error visit: https://vicpd.ca/open-vicpd/community-survey/