File Photo (Jay Wallace Images)

A majority of Victoria and Esquimalt residents don’t feel safe at night in their respective downtowns, according to a recent survey released by Victoria Police.

The 2022 VicPD Community Survey gathered input from residents and businesses within its jurisdiction and found that while 79% of respondents feel safe in downtown Victoria or Esquimalt Plaza during the day, 63% don’t feel safe at night.

The survey was sent out to 5,000 people in February and March, with 1,300 (26%) completed and included in the final results.

VicPD spokesperson Bowen Osoko says findings are part of the detachment’s “continued annual survey cycle,” allowing officers “to better track trends and the needs of our community in alignment with our Strategic Plan.”

While more than half, or 52% of respondents, find local crime has increased over the past five years, 7% say it’s decreased, and 41% say it’s stayed the same, as 26% admit to being a victim of crime over the same period.

Survey participants also included their primary concern, or “problem” VicPD officers should pay closer attention to, with 18% highlighting homelessness and 16% listing mental health, followed by breaking and entering and traffic offences at 15% and 14%, respectively.

While it’s noted the top two are not actual crimes, to combat these “problems,” 21% of respondents suggest more visible patrols, 18% recommend hiring more officers, and 14% point to additional crime prevention.

Osoko says key survey results for 2022 are displayed on the VicPD Community Dashboard and in quarterly Community Safety Report Cards, which can be viewed via the OpenVicPD information hub.

👋 Subscribe to the Victoria Buzz newsletter to receive the latest news, events and more directly to your inbox. Every weekday.