Poll finds most think downtown core safer, cleaner - Metro US

Poll finds most think downtown core safer, cleaner

While the majority of Calgarians believe the city’s core is safer now than a year ago, only four out of 10 in a survey feel safe in the core at night, according to a city-sponsored poll.

City officials on Thursday released the results of the Centre City Citizen Perception Survey conducted last November by telephone and found out how citizens feel about the cleanliness and safety of the city’s core.

Nine out of 10 said they felt fairly safe riding the C-Train or walking on sidewalks and in parks during the day, but only four in 10 said they felt safe in those same areas at night. That concerns police Insp. Kevan Stuart, who says crime has actually dropped significantly in the past three years.

“Some people feel it’s the same … but our crime stats have decreased significantly in the past years and … it’s just conveying that message more effectively,” Stuart said.

Stuart adds the police force is happy with the work that’s been done to make the downtown core a safer environment for everyone. “We have made some great strides over the past year in regards to public safety and perception and we still have some work to do so we can’t take our eye off the ball.”

The survey also shows 85 per cent of respondents are satisfied with the cleanliness of parks, streets, sidewalks and pathways, according to City Land Use Planning official Graham Gerylo.

“We hope to monitor (the results) over time and understand how those perceptions are changing and hope to see an improvement,” he said.

“This is the first time we’ve asked this survey at this level, to find out how Calgarians feel in all the different places of the centre city.”

The survey conducted by Ipsos Reid between Nov. 12 to 27, 2009 included a random sampling of 1,127 adult Calgarians and is considered accurate to within 2.3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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