Cities that NJ residents consider safest (Hint: They’re not in NJ)
A just-released survey finds Jersey residents who are heading out for a night on the town and concerned about their safety are probably leaving the Garden State.
According to Krista Jenkins, the director of the Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll, New Jerseyans were asked about where they feel most comfortable when visiting cities in the New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania area.
“Manhattan and Philadelphia trumped the New Jersey cities that we asked about in regards to public safety,” she said.
“By far New York puts visitors at ease, with 79 percent who say that they feel very or somewhat safe. Almost a third, or 29 percent, actually say they feel very safe in Manhattan," she said.
After the Big Apple is Philadelphia.
"We find that two thirds, or 65 percent, express feelings of safety in the city of Brotherly Love," she said.
She notes Garden State residents don’t feel as safe when asked about visiting cities in New Jersey.
Atlantic City — 59 percent somewhat safe
Trenton — 44 percent somewhat safe
Newark — 42 percent somewhat safe
Camden — 19 percent somewhat safe
She says “these are numbers that are quite similar to what we’ve observed in years past, in 2011 and 2014.”
So what’s the problem?
“Despite all of the investment in some of these major cities, Newark in particular, and certainly Camden and Atlantic City, we’re still finding that people are expressing fewer feelings of safety relative to Manhattan and Philadelphia," Jenkins said.
“We’ve seen Whole Foods and Starbucks and the candy maker Mars soon opening a production facility in Newark, so certainly there’s a lot of investment. But until people start going to these places and recognizing they can have a great time and be safe we’re not going to see a big change in these perceptions.”
Jenkins also notes where in New Jersey you live apparently plays a role in how you perceive city life.
She says while a majority of residents in Central and South Jersey give Camden poor safety marks, a higher percentage of those people think Camden is relatively safe compared to residents in Northeast and Northwest Jersey.
The Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll was conducted by landline and cell phone with a random sample of adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com