Abbotsford seen as beautiful but unsafe: survey

Vital Signs Report shows how locals see the community they live in

A recently released survey reveals that Abbotsford residents are concerned about safety in their community.

Abbotsford residents are more concerned about safety and crime in their community than their fellow British Columbians, a newly released survey shows.

This was just one of the findings in the annual Vital Signs Report compiled for the region and province from an online survey completed by more than 7,000 people.

The survey shows that Abbotsford residents, and Fraser Valley residents in general, feel good about where they live, despite having concerns about their communities.

“Our report shows that Abbotsford is a great place to call home, but it has challenges to overcome,” a release from Abbotsford Community Foundation states.

The most common response in Abbotsford, when respondents were asked what issues or concerns were most important to them, was safety. Just over half of the surveys completed in Abbotsford, 52 per cent, named safety in the top three, compared to only 35 per cent of B.C. residents at large.

Locals also differed somewhat from the rest of the province when it came to what they believed would best solve safety issues. Nearly half (47 per cent) of local residents believe reducing the use of illegal drugs would make their community safer, compared to just a third (33 per cent) of B.C. respondents at large.

The next most popular strategy locals believed would make their town safer was reducing levels of gang violence, with 44 per cent pointing to that in Abbotsford, compared to just 25 per cent across B.C.

Although most local residents (68 per cent) feel safe walking in their neighbourhoods after dark, they feel somewhat less safe than the provincial average (78 per cent).

When it comes to residents’ favourite thing about the Fraser Valley, natural beauty was the clear winner, with 45 per cent naming it in their top three.