Perceptions of safety and community satisfaction in the Elm City are on the rise, but inequality remains intractable, according to a recent study conducted by local nonprofit analytics group DataHaven.
DataHaven released last month the results of a survey co-authored with public opinion polling organization Siena College Research Institute. The researchers partnered with more than 100 government and nonprofit organizations in Connecticut to conduct interviews about participants’ overall quality of life throughout the state. Of the 16,219 adults surveyed, 800 were New Haven residents. The proportion of New Haven residents who feel safe walking through their neighborhoods at night increased by 10 percent since 2012, reflecting the city’s falling crime rates.
“In this instance, when results of a survey seem to support existing crime statistics, the news is gratifying and encouraging,” New Haven City Director of Communications Laurence Grotheer said of residents’ increased perceptions of safety in New Haven.
“The results for this particular question on neighborhood safety help illustrate that perceptions of safety have a major impact on community health and well-being as a whole,” Abraham said. “The results can help community leaders work with residents to address the specific neighborhoods or streets that are perceived to be unsafe.”
Abraham said that while the percent of adults who believe the “job done by the police to keep residents safe” is “excellent” or “good” rises slightly as household income level increases, there is a larger racial disparity in the answers to this question.
44 percent of adults earning less than $30,000 per year and 51 percent of those earning $75,000 per year or more describe the work done by police as “good” or “excellent.” However, while 58 percent of white adults in New Haven believe the police is successfully keeping residents safe, only 44 percent of Latinos and 36 percent of African-American adults feel the same.