The presence of crime in both urban and rural areas can make people feel unsafe and fearful, often precluding them from full engagement in their communities. Perhaps even more influential than the verified incidence of crime is the perception of crime — the belief that you are not fully safe in your surroundings.
Often most destructive to the fabric of individual or community life are domestic violence crimes – those typically occurring within what should be the safe harbor of one’s home and own neighborhood. Our aspirations to sustainability are tethered to our ability to keep our children within safe families.
Race and ethnicity are consistently an element of community dialogue around public safety. Perceptions of inequitable treatment by law enforcement, even if contrary to data, corrode community cohesion as well as the effectiveness of law enforcement.