Looking at the perception of crime

The old saying goes that when my neighbor is laid off, it is a recession but when I am laid off, it is a deep depression.

So it is that in the area of crime, local perception is also key. However, part of what I have always found fascinating is what it takes to change that perception. Herein lies the task of the truth seeker.

Here are the latest partial results (a little less than 200) of the independent survey. If you have not taken the survey, please do so immediately at www.pulseofconcord.com.

Q. Is crime getting worse in Concord?

22.7 percent, strongly agree.
32.43, agree.
19.46, neither agree nor disagree.
17.84, disagree.
4.32, disagree strongly.
3.25, too complicated to decide.

Well folks, it looks like “getting worse” has strong support at 55 percent, while only 22 percent disagree.

That is a serious issue.

At election times, incumbents and challengers historically focus on crime perception. Reality is irrelevant, as they broadcast viewpoints to make a candidate look either like the champion of the day or the weakling who cannot protect you. But this is not a traditional election period, or do those no longer exist?

Let us return to the classic follow-up:

Q: When thinking of your friends and relatives who have a view that crime is getting worse, what would convince them to change that opinion? (Check all that apply.)

14.75 percent, I do not have any friends or family that think that way.
14.75, absolutely nothing would convince them.
25.68, FBI statistics for the city reported in newspapers, radio and local programs.
31.69, police chief presentation with local and FBI statistics.
13.11, I have no idea, and neither would they if I ask them.
13.11, I have no idea.
18.58, other.

Looking at the perception of crimeThe “other” category had some interesting points, with the most popular being that what would convince them was “when crime goes down.” Not exactly the most actionable item when dealing with the facts of perception. There were a couple things that tie to it: when we are no longer a sanctuary city or when the police enforce immigration laws.

The 14 percent who do not know folks who think that way seem to reinforce the group of 22 percent in the first question who do not see a problem. The “absolutely nothing” 14 percent –combined with the 13 percent who have no idea and neither do the believers – comes close to the real problem we have in society in general and politics in particular: Once a stance has been taken, there is an emotional commitment to it and change is almost impossible.

So the 25 percent and 31 percent who are influenced by FBI and police presentations give us a real follow-up possibility for the next survey to drill down into this subject.

Accompanying this story is a summary of the chief’s report on crime as given to the City Council. Does it change any minds? Let me know your perception of the report.

The statements, questions, information and opinions herein are those of Edi E. Birsan and do not purport to reflect any policies or opinions of the city of Concord, including without limitation the Concord City Council, city of Concord staff, or any other people, institutions or organizations associated with the city of Concord or the National Baseball League.

Contact Birsan by email at EdiBirsan@gmail.com.

1 thought on “Looking at the perception of crime

Comments are closed.