Perception of Safety in Philadelphia at Nationwide Low Following Survey of Residents

CONTACT: Ginger Li / (646) 755-6145 /

Perception of Safety in Philadelphia at Nationwide Low Following Survey of Residents

Commissioner Outlaw said earlier this week that “intangible factors” like trust is key measure of success; new survey tool measured residents’ trust and safety ratings in real-time

February 14, 2020 (New York)—A new public safety survey conducted by technology company Elucd in the City of Philadelphia found perception of safety among 554 city residents lower than all other Elucd-polled U.S. cities. Fielded prior to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw’s installation, the survey also asked residents questions about their trust in police and their top public safety priorities; the top issue citywide was “policing issues.”

Elucd fields surveys in over a dozen cities globally, both ad hoc and on an ongoing basis, in cities such as Grand Rapids, MI; New York, NY and Colorado Springs, CO.

In an interview conducted by the Philadelphia Inquirer earlier this week, Commissioner Danielle Outlaw was asked how she will measure success in her new role. “Outlaw declined to identify a specific metric, saying it would involve intangible factors. She said she wants police officers to be confident that the community trusts the department.” Elucd’s Blockwise survey provides results that quantify sentiments commonly thought of as intangible. Community members rate their feelings of trust in police and safety, which yield numerical trust and safety scores on a scale of 0-100.

From January 14 to January 22, a statistically representative sample of 554 Philadelphia residents were asked four questions in a digital ad-delivered survey:

  • When it comes to the threat of crime, how safe do you feel in your neighborhood on a scale of 0 (not safe at all) to 10 (completely safe)?
  • Please indicate whether you agree or disagree on a scale of 0 (totally disagree) to 10 (totally agree).
  • The police in my neighborhood treat local residents with respect.
  • The police in my neighborhood listen to and take into account the concerns of local residents.
  • What is the number one issue or problem on your block or in your neighborhood that you would like the police to deal with? Please be specific.

The survey found:

  • Trust scores in Philadelphia range from 70 in the South Division to 50 in the East Division.
  • The average trust score for large US cities in the same period is 64. Philadelphia is average.
  • Safety scores range from 60 in the Central Division to 43 in the East Division.
  • Average safety score for large US cities (>1M pop.) measured by Elucd in the same period is 60. Philadelphia is well below average and is the lowest large U.S. city measured in the period.
  • The top three dominant citywide concerns were:
  • Policing issues (25% of respondents)
  • Streets and traffic (23% of respondents)
  • Drugs (12% of respondents)

Background and Method

The survey was delivered to respondents via Elucd’s Blockwise, an innovative technology that engages city residents through digital advertisements on the social media platforms, apps and websites they use and visit every day. Leveraging Census data, Elucd ensures its results reflect an accurate and relevant sample of a city’s demographics—including race, age, sex, income level, and educational attainment—to make sure all voices in a city are heard.

Large and small cities from New York City to Redondo Beach, California already use Elucd’s community sentiment technology on an ongoing basis to measure, track, and understand public sentiment. For more information about Elucd, please visit

About Elucd

Elucd is reinventing the way communities interact with local government across the country. Using Elucd’s Blockwise, residents are empowered to give real time, actionable input to local leaders to guide policing and policy decision-making on a neighborhood, community and precinct-level. Committed to giving citizens a seat at the table and fostering greater government transparency, Elucd gathers real feedback from every neighborhood in a city so residents can shape the city they want.

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