COMMUNITY CRIME CONCERNS: What your neighbors prioritized for Seattle Public Safety Survey

The results of the newest annual Seattle Public Safety Survey – conducted by Seattle University for SPD – are out. Top concerns of respondents are listed citywide, by precinct, and by “microcommunity” (aka neighborhood with a community group that has participated in development of policing plans). Here are the Southwest Precinct-area highlights:

The survey summary says 706 people in the Southwest Precinct area – West Seattle and South Park – completed the survey; demographically, the summary notes, “Compared to Seattle demographics, survey respondents [from this precinct area] were disproportionately more likely to be non-minority and female.” The report summarizes:

The top public safety concerns for the Southwest Precinct are Car Prowls, Lack of Police Capacity, Property Crime- General, Residential Burglary, and Auto Theft.

Southwest Precinct slightly differs from the citywide top public safety concerns, which were Car Prowls, Lack of Police Capacity, Homelessness, Property Crime, and Residential Burglary; for residents in the Southwest Precinct, Auto Theft was a top public safety concern over Homelessness, which was a top public safety concern in the citywide findings.

The most prominent themes residents in the Southwest Precinct commented on in their narrative responses were Lack of Police Capacity, Homelessness is a Public Safety, and Public Health Issue, Crime- Public Order, Crime- Property, and Crime- Traffic/Pedestrian/Bike/Transit. In comparison with the citywide themes, which were Homelessness, Lack of Police Capacity, Public Order Crime, Property Crime, and Police being Prevented from Doing their Job, themes prioritized by residents in the Southwest Precinct were Crime- Traffic/Pedestrian/Bike/Transit, which was a concern over the citywide theme (that) police are being prevented from doing their jobs. At the micro-community level, top public safety concerns, prominent themes, and perceptions of public safety are similar to the precinct as a whole. However, some micro-communities differ from the others (e.g. unsafe driving/speeding in Alki, littering/dumping and gang activity in South Park).

You can read the entire report here.

19 Replies to "COMMUNITY CRIME CONCERNS: What your neighbors prioritized for Seattle Public Safety Survey"

  • M August 27, 2019 (5:45 pm)

    Why is the year 2018 and not 2019?

    • WSB August 27, 2019 (6:28 pm)

      Because that’s when the survey was done,

  • Peter August 27, 2019 (8:30 pm)

    “Police being prevented from doing their jobs.” Gimme an ef ing break. I’m honestly shocked that so many people are suckered by SPOG’s lies that’s that’s a citywide top concern. 

  • Plf August 27, 2019 (8:59 pm)

    So  how is this information going to be used for resource utilization and public policy. 

  • Eric1 August 27, 2019 (9:36 pm)

    I can’t find a copy of the original questions but I swear there was a portion that asked if you thought the Mayor and the City Clowncil, were doing their job to combat crime/lawlessness.  On a scale of 1-10, I would have given them a zero.  Of course, I could be mistaken on what this  survey asked, hence my quest for the original questions….  I usually like to see how the authors came to their conclusions given the questions they asked.

  • Mj August 27, 2019 (10:29 pm)

    Its not police capacity per sr, it’s the courts failure to incarcerate repeat offenders for longer periods of time.  Does it take someone to be killed by a repeat offender for action to be taken?

  • Steve August 27, 2019 (10:34 pm)

    I’ve successfully avoided having a car prowled by not having a car. I agree we need more police to enforce driving laws. I see drivers pulled over on city streets about once or twice a year. Speeders and people not stopping for pedestrians to cross the street are my biggest fear. The rare time time I drive someone’s car, it is very scary to be in control of such a dangerous machine. I try to drive a few miles under the limit and keep an eye out for pedestrians at every corner.

    • KM August 28, 2019 (7:32 am)

      Steve, though I drive 2-3 times a week, I agree with your takeaways. I get illegally passed for going the speed limit or yielding for busses or pedestrians on our streets, and just the other day was inches from being struck by a driver taking a right-on-red while I had the right of way walking in the crosswalk. Enjoyed watching SPD do nothing about a driver speeding at ~65 across the bridge near workers, nearly causing a crash yesterday too. Our culture has given drivers/cars immense power and privilege…and subsidies! 

    • Peter August 28, 2019 (8:19 am)

      I agree. I did this survey and reported non-enforcement if traffic laws as my top safety concern. Downtown I see literally hundreds of drivers run red light every day, that’s not an exaggeration, and have never once seen any of our lazy police ticket someone for it even when it happens right in front of them. Hostility and open abuse towards bicyclists by drivers has been becoming steadily worse over the last few years, and the police do not care. Bus lanes are never enforced. Pedestrians are regularly blamed for violence drivers inflict on them. The clear number one public safety concern is drivers and do nothing police, and that’s not because they’re not allowed to do their jobs, it’s because they’re lazy and don’t care about public safety. 

  • Mj August 28, 2019 (9:05 am)

    Steve/KM improperly set speed limits are an issue that leads to less safe environment for all users.  And Steve a person driving too slowly is a safety issue just as a person who drives at excessive speeds.  Studies have shown setting speed limits based on legitimate technical criteria including what prudent drivers drive at leads to fewer incidents!

    • Ice August 28, 2019 (10:31 am)

      What studies are you talking about? You’ve said before that lower speed limits are dangerous but you’ve never produced any data or citations to support your claim. Please show us a study that shows that higher speed limits correspond with better safety outcomes.

      • Jort August 28, 2019 (11:37 am)

        There is a thinking among traffic engineers that the ultimate gauge of success of a road design can be measured by the speed and amount of private automobiles that travel a road. In fact, this older generation of traffic engineers was taught this from their earliest years in the business. To them, the thought of a lower speed limit is contrary to everything they’ve ever been told about what makes a road project successful. I am in favor of lower speed limits — and I am also in favor of mandatory speed governors that force drivers to abide the speed limit, and an automatic revocation of drivers’ licenses for those who attempt to disable them. Side note: America has one of the highest rates of deaths and serious injuries from automobile collision in the modern, developed world, and that statistic is getting worse, not better.

    • Kathy August 28, 2019 (10:53 am)

      MJ, I disagree with your claim that the speed limit is what makes driving unsafe. A driver that has an accident because someone is driving slower than they would like is just not paying attention to their surroundings. There are other safety issues that are caused by higher speed limits. Higher speeds = more deadly crashes when they happen, more fossil fuels burned and tire dust particles generated, more toxins in the air and water causing respiratory illness and cancer, polluting our marine food supply,  increase air and water  temperatures that are killing fish and their predators like orcas, destroying corals, melting glaciers and threatening the built shoreline with rising sea levels. 

      • Jon Wright August 28, 2019 (12:49 pm)

        For whatever reason, we live in a society where the certain driving laws, like speed limits, are widely flouted. Until it becomes the cultural norm to observe the speed limit, whatever it happens to be, the phenomenon that MJ mentions (so-called “improperly set speed limits” and drivers “driving too slowly”) are, unfortunately, bona fide issues.

        • KM August 28, 2019 (1:28 pm)

          I, for one, definitely prefer to get stuck by a car going 35mph instead of 20mph while crossing the street. 

  • Mj August 28, 2019 (11:25 am)

    Ice I have 35 years of working with traffic data and the data shows properly (technical not political criteria) set speed limits are the safest.  The way to achieve calmer speeds is via proper street design, not signage!In fact a recent article in the Seattle Times indicated the City has had more incidents than before the arbitrary speed reduction that was politically instituted.MJ

  • anonyme August 28, 2019 (2:17 pm)

    Speed studies and “properly set speed limits” do not take into account the impact that traffic has on neighborhoods, including excess noise and real danger to pedestrians, as well as the unsettling effect of perceived danger from speeding vehicles.  These parameters might have some merit on freeways and major thoroughfares, but not in residential areas.  People have a right to feel safe in their homes and on their streets; getting from point A to point B as fast as possible has far, far less priority.  We’ve allowed cars to dictate how we live, and that is foolish, unbalanced, and unacceptable. 

  • Ice August 28, 2019 (3:44 pm)

    There isn’t any doubt that safe street design does infinitely more to improve safety than legal speed limits. People will drive as fast as they feel comfortable driving on a road. I think we both can agree on that. However, you literally wrote “a person driving too slowly is a safety issue just as a person who drives at excessive speeds,” and you have provided absolutely nothing to back that up and now you are changing the subject. I assume you are talking about this Article. The data in that article does not back up your claim that reducing speed limits causes more traffic violence in anyway what-so-ever. All it says is that 2019 was the highest year for traffic related injuries since 2010 in Seattle, with the biggest jump in pedestrian deaths. Are you aware that is a trend in every US city? Are you aware that Seattle is rapidly increasing in population? So I am not really sure what data you are talking about. In fact, it doesn’t seem to exist. Simply saying that “I have 35 years of working with traffic data,” doesn’t prove anything. 

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