Poll: Suburban Cook Voters See Crime Increase, Have Faith in Cops

October 19, 2018

By David Ornsby - View Original Article at ChicagoTribune.com

(Chicago, IL) - Nearly half of suburban Cook County voters think that crime has increased in their neighborhood over the las couple years, according to a new survey.

The poll of 502 likely voters conducted between October 9-10 by Illinois Public Opinion, Inc. found that 42.8% of suburban Cook voters "think crime has increased" in their "neighborhood in the last couple years" while 13.66% say crime has decreased. 43.56% were undecided.

"Opinion surveys regularly find that Americans believe crime is up nationally, even when the data show it is down," wrote John Gramlich of the Pew Research Center on January 30, 2018. "In 17 Gallup surveys conducted since 1993, at least six-in-ten Americans said there was more crime in the U.S. compared with the year before, despite the generally downward trend in national violent and property crime rates during much of that period."

Despite voters perceiving a bump in crimes, suburban voters overwhelming - 75.2% - approve of their local police department's efforts at "protecting their neighborhood." Just 10.03% disapprove. 14.65% are undecided.

"Voters views of how well their local police department is protecting their neighborhood is often a solid and more reliable indicator about the crime situation in a community," said suburban Cook County municipal attorney Michael Del Galdo, managing partner of the Del Galdo Law Group, who serves the legal counsel for multiple suburban communities, such as the Town of Cicero. "If suburban voters felt under siege in their own neighborhoods, the job approval of the local police department would tumble."

Del Galdo also noted that in the communities that he represents crime statistics also show broad, long-term decreases, which mirror the national trends.

"Media reporting of individual incidents of crime can distort a residents' view of the actual crime statistics," said Del Galdo. "In the communities that I represent, where crime is already low, the downward statistical slope of property crime and violent crime is the reality."

The automated poll had a +/- 5.0% margin of error.