Survey results show that Penticton residents may be feeling less safe in the city than in years past.
The City of Penticon concluded its 2019 Citizen Survey and will be presenting an overview with the results to council at the meeting on July 2. The survey was taken voluntarily by 1,171 citizens from Arpil 18 to May 3.
Notably, 58 per cent of those surveyed felt that the city’s quality of life has decreased over the past three years, giving the city a 3.8 out of 5 rating. In terms of safety, Penticton’s rating dropped from a 4 out of 5 in the 2o13 survery to a 2.9 in 2019.
“Thiry-six per cent of participants gave Penticton a good (4/5) or excellent (5/5) rating as a safe place to live,” states a release from the city about the 2019 survey. “The top three priorities for the future that recieved the most interest from the list provided include: improving safety and security (84 per cent), smart growth and development (75 per cent) and advancing environmental initiatives and practices (70 per cent).”
“It’s been several years since the last citizen survey was conducted and it was important to give residents an opportunity to provide feedback that would help council set their priorities for the next few years,” said engagement strategist for the city JoAnne Kleb in the release. “The survey results were provided to council to consider in the development of their strategic priorities and to staff as they prepare their plans for the upcoming budget season.”
Public safety and security, especially in the city’s downtown, has been a hot topic this summer with an apparent increase in criminal activities such as break and enters into businesse, use of illegal substances and loitering. The city recently passed a controversial bylaw which bans sitting or lying on certain downtown sidewalks during the summer months in the name of public and business safety and security, and offenders could face a fine of $100.
The release states that overall, 68 per cent of participants rate their quality of life in Penticton as good (4/5) or excellent (5/5) and all of the city’s services were rated in the top quartile, meaning that perceptions of importance and performance all scored an average rating above 3 out of 5.
“We’re thrilled that so many citizens took the time to give us their feedback,” said Mayor John Vassilaki in the release. “The findings confirmed Council’s view that feelings of safety and security in the city is the most pressing concern. They also showed that we need to pay attention to how we manage growth and how we impact the environment as we look ahead.”
Residents are encouraged to view the full survey results at www.shapeyourcitypenticton.ca.
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