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Sacramento State News - California State University, Sacramento
June 29, 2007

Survey finds area residents’ perceptions
vary on crime, how to fight it

Full Report (pdf)

More than 30 percent of residents in the Sacramento region (31 percent) believe there is more crime than a year ago, according to a recent Sacramento State survey. However, only 13 percent of those residents view gang violence and other crimes as very serious.

Sacramento State’s 2007 Annual Survey of the Region, conducted by Professor Amy Liu and her students, found that the majority of area residents do not think gang violence (61 percent) and other crimes (52 percent) are critical issues in their community. And only 37 percent of Sacramento region residents support increased expenditures for hiring more police officers, whereas the majority (54 percent) prefer spending revenue on other significant community issues such as flood protection, traffic or education. 

Approximately half of area residents also support the Governor’s proposal to build more prisons and improve prison health care.

Other findings include:

  • Residents living in Sacramento County are more concerned about gang violence and other crimes (49 percent for gang violence and 58 percent for other crimes) than people from Placer (16 percent gang violence and 24 percent for other crimes), El Dorado (20 percent gang violence and 28 percent for other crimes) and Yolo (35 percent for both gang violence and other crimes) counties.
  • Residents with lower incomes and those who are not homeowners are more inclined to regard gang violence and other crimes as important issues in their neighborhood.
  • Hispanic residents worry about gang violence (60 percent) and other crimes (66 percent) the most.
  • Better-educated residents are more inclined to report that gang violence is not a serious issue (49 percent those with high school or less education, 59 percent for those with some college education, and 65 percent for those with a college degree).
  • Those who regard gang violence (52 percent for very serious versus 24 percent for not all serious) and other crimes (56 percent for very serious versus 21 percent for not at all serious) as major concerns favor hiring more police officers.

The survey was a computer-assisted telephone interview of 1,106 randomly selected adults from Sacramento, Yolo, Placer and El Dorado counties. It has a margin of error of 3 percent.

More information is available by contacting Professor Ernest Cowles at (916) 278-5737 or Liu at or (916) 278-7572.


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