Residents in Washington, D.C., overwhelmingly do not feel safe outdoors at night, according to a new study highlighting the troubling crime trends in the District.
Roughly 73 percent of District residents said they do not feel safe or feel only somewhat safe being outside their house after dark in a survey from the Community Preservation and Development Corporation (CPDC), a non-profit group. The study seeks to identify safety perceptions in each ward of the District and for the city overall to better understand how crime is affecting the community, reports Washington City Paper.
Only 15 percent of respondents in the violence plagued Ward 8 felt safe outside in their neighborhoods at night.
“Our goal with this survey is to identify what we need to do to strengthen partnerships between residents who live in communities across the city and the law enforcement officers who are supposed to protect them,” Pamela Lyons, CPDC senior vice president for community impact strategies, said in a statement.”Residents are ready to build stronger, trusting relationships with police and work together with them to create safer neighborhoods for themselves and their families.”
Residents across the city generally feel safe during the day, however a slim majority of residents in Wards 7 and 8 do not feel safe, even during the day, outdoors in their neighborhoods. Residents tended to say they felt safe in their homes or cars but only felt somewhat safe on public transit, like the Metro.
The study found a high level of exposure to crime among residents across the District.
“More than half of all respondents indicated that during the past year they had observed or experienced some type of crime, although over two-thirds had never observed or experienced violent crime,” the study read. “Respondents from Wards 7 and 8 and African-American and Latino respondents observed violent crime at much higher rates. Of particular note, young respondents had the highest rates of exposure to violent crime.”
The District is suffering a violent year, with over 61 confirmed homicides across the city. D.C. saw a staggering 53 percent spike in the murder rate in 2015, the highest rate in eight years. The alarming spike in homicides is spilling into 2016, tracking closely with last year’s figures.
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