B.C. residents' thoughts on crime and public safety can shift dramatically depending on age, according to a new survey.

A new online poll from Research Co. has found that younger adults, aged 18 to 34 are more likely to worry about being the victim of a crime than those older than them. 

According to the poll's results, 48 per cent in that age category are afraid of being victims of crime, compared to 40 per cent of those aged 35 to 54 and 33 per cent of those aged 55 and older. 

Regionally, Metro Vancouver residents were most likely to fear being a crime victim at 43 per cent. 

"There is a deep generational divide when it comes to perceptions of public safety in British Columbia," said Mario Canseco, president of Research Co. 

"Millennials are more likely to fear becoming victims and baby boomers are more likely to say that crime is on the rise in their community."

Nearly two-in-five B.C. residents think crime has increased in their community over the past four years, while one-in-five say they've been the victims of crime over the past few years where the police was called. 

Around 31 per cent of residents said they feel "moderately unsafe" or "very unsafe" walking in their own neighbourhood after dark. 

Nearly half of B.C. residents pointed to addiction and mental health issues as one of the specific factors to blame for the province's current crime and public safety situation. About one third said gangs and illegal drug trade were to blame. 

Results from this poll were based on an online study conducted between Aug. 7 and Aug. 10 among 800 B.C. adults. 

Research Co. says the data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in the province. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.