Photo from Penhold Facebook page

RCMP survey shows Penhold residents feel safe

Theft, robbery and mischief residents’ top crime concerns

Penholds residents feel safe in their community, but nearly one in four is not satisfied with the level of policing, says a survey.

The online survey was posted on the town’s website for six days last month and drew 137 responses.

Asked how satisfied residents were with RCMP policing services, 55 per cent said they were somewhat satisfied, the most positive option.

Twenty-four per cent said they were unsatisfied and nearly 14 per cent said they were very unsatisfied. Seven per cent had no opinion.

However, Penhold residents overwhelmingly feel safe in their community. Eighty-five per cent feel very safe or safe, with about nine per cent feeling unsafe and five per cent feeling very unsafe.

Similar results were recorded when residents were asked if they feel safe in their neighbourhoods.

Innisfail detachment commander Staff Sgt. Chris Matechuk said he was largely pleased with the results.

The results of the police satisfaction part of the survey might have been skewed because two options, very satisfied and satisfied, were inadvertantly left off the survey.

“I think if we had given that option (the results) would have been different.”

The survey route was taken largely because COVID-19 restrictions did not allow for public gatherings where RCMP and the community could meet.

Matechuk believes the results will be useful and will be used when community meetings are again allowed.

When probed about their biggest neighbourhood concerns, 83 per cent picked theft, robbery and mischief. Forty-four per cent picked drugs and 41 per cent a general category of safety.

About 10 per cent had no concerns and six per cent — nine respondents — picked other, which included speeding, drunk driving, prostitution and excessive noise from street bikes and motorcycles.

Respondents could pick more than one option, which explains why the numbers do not add up to 100.

Nine in 10 responded “very important” when asked how much of a priority it was for police to engage and be visible in the community. Less than six per cent said it was not a priority.

Asked whether crime was going up, 55 per cent said it was and eight per cent said it was going down. Twenty-one per cent saw no change and 16 per cent were not sure.



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