Bonaire residents feeling safer

12/03/2018 15:30
© Hollandse Hoogte / Roel Burgler
In 2017, the inhabitants of Bonaire felt safer than four years previously with over 80 percent indicating that they never felt unsafe, against two-thirds of residents in 2013. People on Bonaire awarded a score of 7.7 to safety within their own neighbourhood, up from 7.3 four years previously. This is the outcome of the Omnibus Survey for the Caribbean Netherlands which was conducted on the island of Bonaire recently by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

In 2017, more than 40 percent of Bonaire residents perceived their own neighbourhood to be crime-free, while an equal share of inhabitants reported there was little crime. On the other hand, 6 percent of inhabitants thought there was a high incidence of crime in their own neighbourhood. This is similar to 2013. People on Bonaire are less likely to indicate neighbourhood crime than residents of the European Netherlands. In 2017, 19 percent of the European Dutch population perceived their own neighbourhood to be crime-free, 64 percent said there was little crime and 9 percent reported a significant level of crime.

When asked whether neighbourhood crime had risen, declined or remained stable over the previous twelve months, the majority of Bonaire residents responded that it had remained stable.

Vast majority reported neighbourhood nuisance

In 2017, 70 percent of Bonaire residents reported nuisances in their own neighbourhood. This share is lower than in the European Netherlands (93 percent). Road traffic nuisance was mentioned most often by people on Bonaire; over half of the islanders reported this form of nuisance in their living environment, most often referring to speeding cars. Almost 40 percent of residents reported a physical decline in their environment including animal poop, litter, vandalised public items and/or graffiti on walls or buildings.

Social nuisances, for instance drunken people or loitering youths in the neighbourhood, were mentioned by under 30 percent of Bonaire residents. People in the European Netherlands report traffic nuisances, physical decline and social nuisances more often than people on Bonaire.

Reported nuisances declined in 2017 over 2013

In 2017, the number of Bonaire residents who reported neighbourhood nuisances was lower than in 2013, when nearly 80 percent indicated these nuisances were a common problem. Traffic nuisances occurred equally often in 2017, while physical decline and social nuisances occurred less often than four years previously.

Over one-third of Bonaire residents experience nuisances themselves

Those residents who indicated that nuisances were common in their neighbourhood were asked to which degree they themselves experienced such nuisances. In 2017, 35 percent of Bonaire residents indicated they experienced nuisances very often in their own neighbourhood. Over one-quarter of inhabitants said they were affected by traffic nuisances while over 10 percent reported experiencing physical decline and 7 percent indicated social nuisances. This is similar to levels reported in 2013. In the European Netherlands, neighbourhood nuisances are reported by a larger share of people, namely 44 percent.

Nearly half of Bonaire residents discontented about government

In 2017, 46 percent of Bonaire residents indicated they were dissatisfied with the government’s performance in terms of quality of living environment and safety. The share saying they were satisfied amounted to 17 percent.

Islanders were more positive about the performance of the local police force: 43 percent were satisfied with actions by the police against 17 percent who were dissatisfied. Fourty-two percent of inhabitants felt that the police were successful in combating crime while 22 percent disagreed with this statement.

Nearly 60 percent agreed with the statement that the police would do their utmost to help you out when it comes to the crunch. Fourteen percent did not agree. The Omnibus Survey is currently being held on St Eustatius and Saba. Results on the safety perceptions among residents of these two islands will be published later this year.