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2021 crime survey: Capitol Hill and Central District trust in SPD continues plunge as Seattle crime fears… drop?

The latest results from an annual survey of Seattle’s perceptions around public safety show that fears about crime continued to drop in 2021 even as statistics measured a rise in reported incidents in the city. Meanwhile, respondents in the East Precinct including Capitol Hill and the Central District continued to rate Seattle Police poorly and expressed some of the most cynical views in the city about the legitimacy and trustworthiness of the department.

The 2021 survey results were published this week by Seattle University’s Crime and Justice Research Center. The full report is embedded below.

In the report, citywide fear of crime fell to its lowest point since the surveys began in 2015. That trend echoes results CHS reported in 2018 when we asked, “Why isn’t Capitol Hill more afraid of crime?” as we examined the Seattle U survey results. Top issues identified in the survey include ongoing concerns shared by Seattle residents over problems like car prowls and property crime.

CHS looked at 2021’s reported upward crime trends across East Precinct and the city here.

In the latest survey, the top public safety concerns for the East Precinct neighborhoods mirror the citywide results: Police Capacity, Property Crime, Homelessness, Traffic Safety, and Public Safety & Community Capacity. And those same categories come up in the individual rankings for the precinct’s neighborhoods from Montlake to First Hill.

But the 2021 results for the East Precinct show that the neighborhoods here continue to maintain a healthy skepticism of SPD continuing results identified last year as police legitimacy became a top concern following the flawed police response to the 2020 protests and CHOP.

2021 East Precinct respondents once again produced the highest response totals over a lack trust in SPD — and police, in general — than any other area of the city. The situation seems unlikely to improve quickly as the results of investigations and studies of the department’s response to Black Lives Matter and anti-police protests in 2020 and 2021 continue to yield concerning findings about the department’s responses and decisions from the chain of command.

Challenges from the city’s homelessness crisis and lack of mental health resources have also taken a toll on the neighborhoods of the East Precinct. Respondents on Capitol Hill and the Central District also identified as a top concern “lack of resources for individuals with mental illness” at a rate higher than any other single, specific neighborhood crime issue in the survey.

The process to collect information for the 2022 survey is already underway. Seattle University will begin holding virtual community-police dialogues from May through August. You can learn more and register here.

 

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Reality
Reality
3 months ago

I wouldn’t read too much into the results of Seattle University’s poorly designed and biased survey.

DownWithIt
DownWithIt
3 months ago
Reply to  Reality

Yup…the wording of the questions and the unsupervised selection of respondents screams “get the results we wanted to hear”.

amy
amy
3 months ago
Reply to  Reality

That survey is a disaster – really a terrible look for Seattle University honestly. The tool is difficult to use and the questionnaire is overly long and worded in a strange and biased manner.

I’m not surprised either that so many of us are worried about mental health stuff. I ache for the people I hear and see in acute distress (some of whom have been on our streets for years), and I’m so upset there’s not a way to get them help.

Reality
Reality
3 months ago
Reply to  amy

I agree. I used to have a lot of respect for Seattle U but it has changed. In recent years extremist leftist ideology has taken a front seat to critical thinking and intellectual debate. A lot of bad ideas that have been trashing Seattle have their roots in Seattle U gospel.

JFC
JFC
3 months ago
Reply to  Reality

Those long haired hippies care more about helping people and uplifting the poor these days, I don’t know what happened! Jesus would be so appalled. He would want homelessness criminalized and for us to respect the police more – Jesus loved authority!

Reality
Reality
3 months ago
Reply to  JFC

The problem is that a faction within Seattle U has defined abolitionist ideology as central to the mission of “uplifting the poor”. The public safety survey is grounded in that ideology which undermines there academic mission of speaking truth. As a result it is little more than propaganda to shape public opinion rather than measure it.

Reality
Reality
3 months ago
Reply to  JFC

*seeking not speaking

DD15
DD15
3 months ago
Reply to  Reality

Yes, Jesuit universities are known to be hotbeds of leftist ideology. It all goes back to their founding leader who was murdered by a police state after advocating for redistribution of wealth to support the poor. They seem to worship this guy or something.

CH Resident
CH Resident
3 months ago
Reply to  DD15

For me the situation is kind of strange. To your point, The Catholic Church in general and the Jesuits in specific are conservative and regressive with the added bonus of proselytizing with their missionary work. Having said that, Seattle University does have Nikkita Oliver and Stephan Thomas in common, so there is some far left ideology percolating there. Do Nikkita and Stephan support conservatism and religious proselytizing or does Seattle University have it’s li’l left hotbed? It’s a paradox.

DownWithIt
DownWithIt
3 months ago
Reply to  CH Resident

Proselytizing, yes, but outside of abortion and male-only priesthood, the current church embraces “progressive” causes openly. I wouldn’t call them “conservative” in the sense you are.

Moving Soon
Moving Soon
3 months ago

Fear of crime is way up in the comments lol.