by Krystal Paco
Guam - With crime on island on the rise, a group of students at the University of Guam polled residents on what crimes they fear most. "Every semester our students try to find out what the community thinks and feels on different things and this survey dealt with what do they think is the crime that they're most concerned about," said UOG professor Ron McNinch.
Murder, rape, and burglary top the list of crimes Guam residents fear most.
McNinch tells KUAM a total of 400 were surveyed - 100 women under forty, another 100 women over forty and the same ratio polled for men. "Our responses were pretty consistent burglary is the most common crime people are concerned about in terms of common crime but murder, rape, and sexual assault were there too," he said.
It wasn't a surprise that women fear rape, but McNinch says the poll also revealed men feared rape as well as it could affect their female loved ones.
McNinch suspects high sex crimes are a result of different laws. Specifically, in the Federated States of Micronesia he says the age of consent is as young as 13-years-old whereas Guam it's 16.
But why bother to get public opinion? McNinch says surveys provide good insight on what kind of change needs to take place on island evident by more legislation in recent years to address crime, including Senator Tony Ada's Castle Doctrine Bill allowing homeowners to defend themselves when someone breaks into their home. "I think for example the Castle Law and things like that directly reflect these concerns but I have to say, one of the local mayors Ken Joe Ada started a great neighborhood watch program to combat burglary there are ways that are leaders below the legislature can really affect wonderful policy if they take the initiative and push for it and that's just one example," he said.