A Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll, released June 1, surveyed New Jersey adults on their perceptions of safety in a collection of major tri state cities, and New Jersey came up short.
FDU asked 926 New Jersey residents about their perceptions of public safety in New York City, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, Camden, Newark and Trenton. New York City put the most New Jersey residents at ease, with 79 percent of saying they felt very or somewhat safe walking through the streets of New York.
As for Philadelphia, 65 percent of NJ residents reported feeling somewhat or very safe, the poll said.
The opposite was true for four of New Jersey’s biggest cities, the poll found. Fifty nine percent of residents said they felt somewhat or very safe in Atlantic City, 42 percent in Newark, 44 percent in Trenton and 19 percent in Camden.
“Suburbs are fading in popularity with more homeowners wanting proximity to a city and its amenities. New Jersey certainly doesn’t lack for city living opportunities, but some of our bigger cities need to do a better job in convincing people that their safety is secure,” said Krista Jenkins, a political science professor at FDU who oversees the polling center.
The state’s violent crime rate is trending downwards, but perceptions of crime and danger in urban centers have remained virtually unchanged, Jenkins said.
The FDU poll asked respondents about the public safety perception in those same cities in 2011 and 2014, Jenkins said, and with the exception of a slight increase in the perception of public safety in Atlantic City, nothing has changed.