SEATTLE - The annual public safety survey for people who live and work in Seattle is launching on Oct. 15.
"The survey asks people about what their concerns are around issues of crime and public safety," said Jacqueline Helfgott of Seattle University. "We also have scales in the survey that measure the quality of life related to public safety. So we have questions about police legitimacy, we ask how inclined people are to get involved in public safety and we have questions about fear of crime."
The Seattle University Crime and Justice Research Center has been collecting this data since 2015.
In 2020, more than 11,000 surveys were collected and analyzed. The data revealed police capacity and property crime were the top citywide public safety concerns.
"We’re able to go into all the neighborhoods in Seattle and see what people feel about fear of crime, police legitimacy, how close people feel to their neighbors and what their top concerns are," said Helfgott. "It’s an opportunity for city officials, for the Seattle Police, for social services, for people in the community to better understand people‘s quality of life and neighborhoods so we can address those issues."
The survey is open to the public through Nov. 30. Once that data is collected and analyzed, the results will be published in February or March.
The retail vacancy rate in downtown Seattle is now at its highest level since 2009 at 4.5%, according to the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA), which also noted that retail foot traffic is still only at 60% of pre-pandemic levels.
Tim De Clue closed his downtown store Timothy De Clue Collection in August 2020, and in recent days opened a new shop at Bellevue Square called The Bon Collection.
"Bon is French for good and it stands for kind of the old harkening back to old department store type merchandising and displays," said De Clue in front of the store’s extravagant Christmas tree display.
The Bon Collection is reminiscent of a European Christmas market and carries specialty items for home and holiday décor.
"Downtown Seattle, where we were located before, a lot of our customers have said that they don’t feel safe down there and they stopped coming into the store. We had a lot of shoplifting down there and the customers just didn’t feel safe walking the streets coming to the store," said De Clue. "That’s what a lot of our customers have been telling us is that they feel much safer staying on the east side and even Seattle people are shopping on the east side."
The DSA is hosting a virtual panel discussion on the future of retail downtown on Oct. 21.
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