Local News

Downtown Raleigh Safety Still A Concern After Dark

Posted June 19, 2001

— Downtown Raleigh is filling up with museums, restaurants, and shops. That is helping city leaders lure people to areas like Glenwood South and City Market, something they have been trying to do for years.

Results of the Raleigh Police Department's 2000 Public Opinion Survey show that while residents enjoy spending time downtown, it depends on what time they are there.

The survey, which was conducted by phone, asked Raleigh residents how they feel about the police department and about their safety in various parts of the city.

Downtown areas that have been the focus of revitalization and economic development over the past few years scored very well during the day. It also showed residents feel less safe after dark.

Most Raleigh residents say they feel very safe during the day in areas like Glenwood South, the Fayetteville Street Mall, City Market and the adjacent museums.

During daylight hours, these areas scored an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10 for safety. After dark, the score dropped to a 6 for City Market and Glenwood South, and to a 5 for the Fayetteville Street Mall.

Restaurant owner Parker Kennedy says people should feel safe downtown, because they are.

"We are very proud of our police force," he says. "They are extremely professional and very competent. We also have the fellows with the yellow shirts, the safety patrol, that goes around and kind of helps them out, too."

The survey also asked residents what makes them feel safe or unsafe. Some of the reasons given for feeling unsafe include not seeing enough police officers, too many homeless people and poor lighting.

Residents seem to be happy with the police department. Last year, overall police satisfaction was 80 percent; this year it is 90 percent.

The full report will be presented to the Raleigh City Council Tuesday afternoon.


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