A November survey shows the majority of residents in Davis and Weber counties are willing to pay higher taxes to fight increasing juvenile crime.

Nearly three-fourths of those surveyed said government must step up its efforts to combat the problem. The survey of 392 adults was done by Weber State University students Nov. 15-18. It has an error rate of plus or minus 6 percent.It shows more than 90 percent of those questioned are aware the juvenile crime rate in Utah has risen over the past three years.

"Normally, in a survey of this type, you find many residents who are unaware of the actual crime rates," said Michael D. Norman, a WSU professor of criminal justice.

"Residents here seem very aware of their surroundings," said Norman, adding that should motivate them to support anti-crime initiatives.

One result that Norman found surprising is that more than 80 percent of those polled believe teenagers under age 18 should not have a legal right to possess a handgun.

"The fact that most respondents want to prohibit young people from possessing handguns surprised me," Norman said. "This is a state in which many citizens believe they have a constitutional right to such weapons."

The survey also shows more than 80 percent believe juveniles over 16 who commit violent crimes should be tried and sentenced as adults.

Other findings in the survey, as released by WSU:

- 57 percent want more youth prisons.

- 73 percent favor more police.

- 87 percent believe vehicles used in gang-related drive-by shootings should be seized, unless they're stolen.

- 61 percent said parents should be financially responsible for the criminal behavior of their children.

- 59 percent favor building more correctional facilities when existing ones become overcrowded.