Oklahoma Poll: Crime

Sunday, August 1st 2004, 9:00 am
By: News On 6

11% of registered voters across Oklahoma say they believe crime is rapidly increasing. About 51% say it's stayed about the same. 10% believe crime is going down.

More than half of those polled say crime is on the rise. And the Tulsa Police Department's own numbers show voters are right. Robberies and assaults are up more than 10% over last year while rRape is up 18 percent. The homicide rate so far in 2004 is at least 23 percent higher than the previous four years.

People in Oklahoma City apparently feel safer in their community. Less than a third perceived an increase in crime and the numbers were about the same in the rest of the state. We also asked how voters would rate their local police department's response to crime. Statewide a vast majority of respondents said law enforcement did at least a fair job with less than ten percent giving a "poor" rating. About 63 percent of voters said Tulsa police are doing a "good" or "excellent" job compared with nearly 3-quarters of Oklahoma City voters.

How much would public policy changes help the crime rate?? Statewide more than 81 percent said it would help to hire more police officers, the vast majority of those votes came from the Tulsa area. About 20 percent of voters outside of the metropolitan areas don't think it would have an effect on crime.

The Poll also shows Prisons aren't the answer. Overwhelmingly voters in all areas said building more prisons would help only a little or not at all. Finally the Oklahoma poll shows Tulsa voters aren't as enthusiastic as the rest of the state about counseling for drug and alcohol abusers. Statewide more than half of respondents say counseling programs would help with Oklahoma City leading the way.

In Tulsa the vote "for" drug and alcohol counseling is less than 48 percent. Family counseling gets even less credit across the board with anywhere from ten to 13 percent of those polled saying it wouldn't help the crime rate at all.