Survey Finds Baltimore Residents “Obsessed” By Crime


Baltimore residents overwhelmingly believe that crime is the most important challenge facing the city and that crime is damaging the city’s economy, says a new poll conducted for the Baltimore Sun. The poll by OpinionWorks of Annapolis suggests that fear of crime has pervaded the entire city. More than one in four residents have considered moving out because of crime, and almost half say crime has prompted them to change something in their daily lives. “We do not go out after sunset because of all the shootings in our area,” said one resident, 60. Said a woman, 85: “I can’t sit on my own front porch anymore because crime is so bad on my street.”

The city is on pace to surpass 300 homicides by year’s end for the first time since the 1990s. Nonfatal shootings are up, too, about 35 percent over the same period last year. The city seems “obsessed” with crime, said Steve Raabe, president of OpinionWorks. He pointed to a “worry factor that’s 20 percent higher than the experience factor.” Still, political scientist Matthew Crenson of Johns Hopkins Univeristy says that, “There’s virtually no connection between actual experience of crime and fear of crime.”


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