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Monthly Poll Finds Much Crime Goes Unreported
 

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By Jorge Casuso

January 3, 2022 -- A vast majority of Santa Monica residents said they have either been a victim of a crime that was not reported or know someone who has, according to the results of a new monthly poll released Monday.

The monthly text poll of some 150 "civically engaged" residents conducted between December 17 and 26 also showed strong support for more transparency on homelessness services and for cracking down on illegal vendors on the Pier.

One third of those polled said they have been the victim of a crime in Santa Monica and not reported it, while 28 percent said they know someone who was a victim and did not report it.

Another 25 percent said they have both been the victim and know someone who has been the victim of a crime that was not reported.

Only 14 percent said they were not a victim and did not know of someone who had been the victim of an unreported crime, according to the poll.

The brief poll also asked local residents to weigh in on three issues taken up last month by the City Council.

Asked if they approved of the Council's recent vote to allow new amenities at the Shore Hotel, 25 percent said they approved, while 9 percent did not. The vast majority said they were "not sure."

The question centered on a December 7 Council vote to allow the hotel -- which has been embroiled in a bitter unionizing battle -- to open a cafe space, an 80-seat restaurant with a bar and patio and massage service for guests.

The 4 to 3 vote was a major blow to the politically powerful hotel workers union, which strongly lobbied the City to reject the new uses ("EXTRA -- Council Breaks With Union, Backs Hotel's Proposal," December 9, 2021).

The poll also found strong support for regulating illegal vendors on the Pier, with 59 percent saying they support making it a top Council priority.

Another 29 percent said it should not be a top priority, while 13 percent were not sure, the poll found.

The question was posed shortly after the Council voted to direct staff to "develop a comprehensive assessment regarding the continued challenges with unpermitted vending activity on and around the Santa Monica Pier."

Before casting the unanimous vote December 7, the clearly frustrated Council members used words like "chaos," "melee" and "out of control" to describe the renegade vendors who overrun the Pier on weekends ("Council Revisits 'Out-Of-Control' Illegal Pier Vendors," December 10, 2021).

The poll also found most residents believe that making key information regarding homelessness assistance public "will help the city better solve its homelessness crisis."

More than two-thirds of those polled -- 68 percent of the respondents -- said they believe the information will help, while 21 percent disagree.

The request -- made by three of the Councilmembers elected in November as part of a "Change" slate -- asks staff to provide information that includes contacts for outreach teams and information on funding sources ("Councilmembers Want Answers to 'Simple' Questions About Homeless Efforts," December 3, 2021).

As with previous polls, the latest Santa Monica Pulse poll was sent to nearly 1,000 residents who "previously opted in to receive more information on education efforts surrounding crime and safety in their city." It had a 25 percent response rate.

Those who wish to be included in the next poll, should email their name and cell phone number to SaMoPulse@gmail.com. To view the poll results click here


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