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Survey: Durham Residents Feel Safer in Own Neighborhoods Than City

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DURHAM — A new poll finds that most Durham residents feel their neighborhoods are safer than their city.

Durham city leaders conducted a telephone poll of its residents to find out how they felt about their community.

Of the 400 residents surveyed, 69.3 percent said they felt safe in their neighborhoods at night. Most residents -- 92.3 percent of those polled -- felt safe during the day.

The impression of the city's overall safety is not so good. Only 45.7 percent of residents surveyed felt the city in general was safe.

The poll was taken before the recent surge in Durham's murder rate. Police acknowledge the increase could affect how people might respond if the survey was conducted now.

Both Durham and Raleigh have seen murder rates increase this year.

The survey's neighborhood safety numbers are an improvement from two years ago, when 51 percent of respondents felt safe at night and 86 percent felt safe during the day.

"It's good to know that people feel safer than they did two years ago. Of course, we want to abate crime, but we want people in the city to feel safer," Durham Police Lt. Ed Sarvis said.

Here some other findings from the survey:
  • 65.7 percent of respondents felt the overall quality of life in Durham to be high or very high.
  • An overwhelming number of residents felt that traffic and growth issues would be critical to address in the the next five years.
  • Most respondents have access to the Internet, and more than one-fifth have visited the city'sWeb site.
  • The survey was conducted between September 1999 and October 1999.


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