According to the latest Duncan Citizen Survey, 73 per cent of respondents indicated that they feel the city is less safe than five years ago.
The survey, conducted in May by the independent consulting firm Discovery Research through a comprehensive mail survey with almost 400 residents of Duncan who responded, also found that 66 per cent of those surveyed indicated that crime, safety, homelessness and drugs were the most important issues facing the city.
The citizen satisfaction survey is intended to gauge resident satisfaction and priorities.
Participants were asked to assess their level of satisfaction with city services and spending priorities, as well as identify the issues affecting quality of life in Duncan.
The information is intended to help city council and staff evaluate what the city is doing well and where efforts need to be focused in the future.
The last citizen survey conducted in 2021 concluded that crime, safety and homelessness were the most important issues facing Duncan at the time.
The 2023 survey also states that the overall quality of life was lower in 2023 than in previous satisfaction surveys, at 6.8 on a 10-point scale.
This rating has been trending downward since the 2016 level of 8.0.
The most important environmental concern currently facing Duncan, according to 20 per cent of the survey’s respondents, is the garbage and used needles left behind by the unhoused in the city.
The city’s water supply was the second most important environmental concern this year for 17 per cent of the survey’s respondents, followed by garbage and recycling at 11 per cent.
Satisfaction levels with the services provided by the city were also lower in 2023, and Discovery Research speculated that it’s possible the survey’s respondents provided a lower rating as a reflection of the worsening homelessness issues facing the city.
One bright spot of the survey is that the respondents felt Duncan’s customer service provided by city staff are exceptional.
“The service provided by city staff received an excellent satisfaction rating,” Discovery Research said.
“The vast majority of residents feel that city staff are friendly, knowledgeable and treat customers fairly.”