Greenville Fear Of Crime Study Now Online

A report that gauges the fear of crime in Greenville is now online.

Greenville police released the full report this morning, after it was presented to city council last Thursday.

After two months of telephone surveys, the ECU Department of Criminal Justice says the people they spoke with say they feel safe. But that conclusion is not one that some members of city council and residents agree with.

To read the full study, click on the link at the top of the story.

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Police say recent statistics show crime numbers in Greenville are on the decline, but city council members want to know just how safe residents feel in their homes and out in the community.

Last April the Greenville City Council requested the ECU Department of Criminal Justice find out how safe residents feel in Greenville. Those results were presented to the city council Thursday night.

The study titled "fear of crime" took place back in September based on the recommendation from the special task force on public safety. And after two months of telephone surveys, the ECU Department of Criminal Justice says the people they spoke with say they feel safe.

Thursday night's presentation led by Dr. William Bloss stated that overall, residents in Greenville have a minimal fear of crime. It's a conclusion the council, as well as residents WITN spoke to, don't completely agree with.

Bob Green has lived in Greenville for 12 years and told us, "I would say it's the opposite. We are more aware. People actually pay more attention. When people are on vacation we notice, we actually watch the houses and things like that." Green says while he generally feels safe, he is always cautious of his surroundings and mindful of locking his doors. He says, "Maybe a little extra cautious than maybe I was 12 years ago."

Council member Marion Blackburn says the fear of crime study was conducted in hopes of ultimately making Greenville a safer place. "There's a lot of good that comes with being a bigger city but there are also growing pains, and a bigger city is going to have more crime."

Of the 6,000 residents who were contacted for the survey, Bloss says only 386 participated. And of those, 70 percent were female and 60 percent were white- numbers that council members say do not accurately reflect the city.

Funded through the Greenville Police department, the project cost nearly $12,000. It's unclear if a second survey will be conducted.

Several council members expressed their reservations with the results from the study- saying the survey does not represent the views of all Greenville residents.

Members of city council say violent crime is their number one concern, and they will continue to work to try to protect residents and make Greenville a safer place to live.

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