Community Safety Survey

What is the process behind the survey and what does it do?

Every two years since 2010, we train University of Portsmouth students to carry out a face to face survey with approximately 1,000 residents to seek their views and their experience of crime and anti-social behaviour in the city. It is an important source of information as it is collected directly from residents and does not rely on crimes or incidents having to be reported to the police or any other agency.

The survey contributes to the picture of crime and anti-social behaviour in the city and helps to inform the priorities and the multi-agency planning processes used to address them. A new plan is currently being developed and will be presented to the Health and Wellbeing Board later in the year. 

2020 Community Safety Survey

In our most recent Community Safety Survey we interviewed 935 Portsmouth residents.

Fieldwork locations

Researchers conducted surveys on the street in the following areas:

    • Baffins–  library as base
    • City Centre– Commercial Road and Guildhall Square
    • Copnor– Copnor Road and parade of shops
    • Cosham– High Street
    • Drayton  Farlington– Farlington Sainsbury’s, Havant Road Co-op Drayton)
    • Fratton– The Bridge Centre, Asda and Fratton Road
    • Guildhall Square and Civic Offices reception area 
    • Milton  Eastney– Eastney Road Co-op and Bransbury Community Centre/ Park
    • Northend– Library as base
    • Paulsgrove– Allaway Avenue Housing Office as base
    • Somerstown– Somerstown Hub
    • Southsea– Palmerston Road, Friendship House (Elm Grove)
One of our fieldworkers interviewing a resident

Survey findings

The total number of residents who reported being a victim of crime has remained stable (37%) since the 2018 survey which is a positive finding. The crimes that were commonly reported to the survey were:

    • ‘Threatening behaviour’12% 
    • ‘Damage to car/motorbike’ 6%
    • ‘Bike theft’– 4% 
    • ‘Stalking/harassment’– 4%

The crimes that saw the biggest reported increases since the 2018 survey were: ‘threatening behaviour’, ‘stalking/harassment’ and ‘hate crime’. These were also the crimes that were least likely to be reported. 

As a result of national concerns about knife crime, we added a new question in the survey this year to find out if knife crime was a problem in Portsmouth. This is the first time we have asked the question so we can’t compare it with the previous survey; it only provides a snapshot of people’s views.  41% of residents said that they thought knife crime was a problem in Portsmouth this was largely based on what they had heard from the media or word of mouth, rather than personal experience. Only a small percentage had personally witnessed (3%) or experienced a knife crime (1%).

The most commonly reported types of anti-social behaviour were:

    • ‘People using/supplying drugs’- 21%
    • ‘People hanging around’- 17% 
    • ‘Damage/graffiti’- 14% 

‘People using/supplying drugs’ has been increasing substantially since the 2016 survey (from 6% to 21%), and this is the first time that it has been the most commonly witnessed or experienced type of anti-social behaviour reported to this survey. 

Download the 2020 survey here: Community Safety Survey 2020

If you would like to read or download the previous surveys please see the survey archive below.

Residents’ views are extremely important to us, please keep up to date with our website if you would like to participate in our next survey which is scheduled to take place in early 2022.

Survey archive 

2018 Community Safety Survey

Download the 2018 survey here: Community Safety Survey 2018

Click here to download the Community Safety Survey Infographic

2016 Community Safety Survey

Download the 2016 survey here: Community Safety Survey 2016 report

2014 Community Safety Survey

Download the 2014 survey here: Community Safety Survey Report 2014