Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Ballard’s fear of crime ranks higher than most Seattle neighborhoods

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In the third annual Public Safety Survey released today by Seattle University, Ballard appeared near the top of the list of neighborhoods in the “fear of crime” category, especially at night.

The 2017 survey (.pdf) gathered 6,454 responses citywide and split their answers into regions and neighborhoods. Survey categories include such things as police legitimacy, social cohesion and residents’ perception of their fear of crime.

Citywide 37.6% of residents said they’re afraid of crime during the day, 42.7% at night.

For “Ballard North”, 44.6% of residents say they’re afraid of daytime crime, 53.5% at night.

For “Ballard South” (Central Ballard), the numbers are very similar: 44.7% for day, 53.5% at night.

These Ballard numbers are higher than most neighborhoods, including Belltown, Capitol Hill and several South Seattle neighborhoods. Pioneer Square, Highland Park and the University District are among those that scored higher than Ballard.

For Fremont, the numbers are 35% during the day, 43.9% at night.

The most prominent themes of the Ballard survey results are a lack of police capacity, crime (both public safety and property crime) and homelessness. Among specific public safety concerns, residents cited car prowls, residential burglaries and car/RV camping.

How does this stack up over the three-year history of the survey? These “fear of crime” numbers are not substantially different for North Seattle, and it doesn’t break out Ballard specifically.

Also keep in mind, this study was conducted last year, before several high-profile crimes occurred in the Ballard area. And finally, this is a survey of perceptions, not of actual crimes, which are captured in another online report.

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