Nearly six out of every 10 individuals say crime is at least somewhat a significant problem in their community, up from 53% just six months earlier.
In addition, a new State Policy Network poll of 2,011 voters, conducted in partnership with Morning Consult between April 11-14, finds that 46% of respondents agree that crime in their town or city has been on the rise over the past 12 months, up from 42% who held such feelings in November 2022.
Across the country, 74% say crime has increased over the past year, a six percentage point increase from five months earlier when 68% of respondents felt that way.
“People are saying they personally see crime as a problem in their local community and numbers are even higher when you ask about the United States broadly,” SPN messaging strategist Erin Norman told The Center Square. “High profile media stories about shoplifting mobs and gun violence likely impact how Americans see crime in the nation as a whole.”
When it comes to big cities, researchers found the view is even dimmer, with 63% saying they feel most large U.S. cities are no longer safe and even more respondents (64%) agreeing they see large retailers making the decision to leave cities due to crime as being reasonable.
Norman agrees much of what you now see and hear seems to justify the apprehension about increased crime.
“The most recent data shows that it’s not just perception – robbery and aggravated assault is up across major population centers,” she added. “People need to see cities and their police force taking steps to prevent crime and prosecute offenders. Walgreens recently announced they are closing five stores in San Francisco and Whole Foods closed their flagship store there as well. Starbucks closed a number of [Los Angeles] stores, citing crime and drugs as issues keeping the stores from becoming profitable. It appears companies aren’t moving their stores but making business decisions to close stores in areas where criminal activity has impacted profitability.”
Walmart announced last week it is closing four stores in Chicago.
With some 34% of survey respondents now expressing apprehension about going on vacation in a major city, 59% of individuals agree people in cities have become their own worst enemy by electing politicians who do not enforce existing laws.
Overall, 84% of respondents agree most large cities across the country need to do more to prevent crime.