Police officers arrive at housing development in Toronto on Monday, September 21, 2020. A new poll suggests Canadians have a largely favourable view of police in their communities but Indigenous people, members of visible minority groups and younger Canadians are less impressed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Indigenous, minority, young Canadians less likely to view police positively: Poll

Younger Canadians were also far more likely than older Canadians to report having had at least one direct interaction with police

Canadians have a largely favourable view of police in their communities but Indigenous people, members of visible minority groups and younger Canadians are more likely to have had bad experiences and to feel threatened in the presence of police, a new poll suggests.

Seventy-seven per cent of Caucasian respondents to the Angus Reid Institute survey said they had a favourable or very favourable view of their local police.

But that dropped to 72 per cent for Indigenous respondents and 67 per cent for those who identified themselves as members of a visible minority.

The contrasts among different age groups was even more stark, with just 51 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds expressing a favourable view — a percentage that rose through each successive age group to a high of 86 per cent among those 65 or older.

Younger Canadians were also far more likely than older Canadians to report having had at least one direct interaction with police over the past five years, which could include anything from a traffic stop or reporting a disturbance to being arrested.

Seventy-four per cent of those aged 18 to 34 reported having had at least one direct interaction with police, compared to 54 per cent for those 55 or older.

Among those who did have direct interactions with police, 80 per cent said it was a mainly or entirely positive experience. Seventeen per cent said it was more negative than positive and just four per cent said it was entirely negative.

But Indigenous people and members of visible minorities were more likely than Caucasians to report entirely or mainly negative experiences — 29 per cent, 25 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

Younger Canadians, particular young Indigenous people or members of a visible minority, were also more likely to say they feel threatened in the presence of a police officer.

Overall, just 17 per cent of respondents said they feel less secure when they see a police officer, compared to 45 per cent who feel more secure and 38 per cent who reported no real feeling either way.

But 38 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds said they feel less secure — six points higher than those who said they feel more secure. Feelings of security increased through each successive age group to a high of 57 per cent among those 65 and older.

For Indigenous youth, 35 per cent said they feel less secure, the same as said they feel more secure. And 39 per cent of visible minority youth said they feel less secure, four points higher than those who said they feel more secure.

By comparison, 30 per cent of Caucasian youth said they feel less secure in the presence of a police officer, whereas 33 per cent said they feel more secure.

The online poll of 5,005 adult Canadians was conducted Aug. 26 to Sept. 1; it cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.

Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Police

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich police are warning residents that rutting season has begun and deer may get their antlers tangled in items left in yards. (Saanich Police Department/Twitter)
Deer with items tangled in antlers spotted in Saanich as rutting season begins

Police, B.C. Conservation Service warn of possibly aggressive bucks through fall

Police will be diverting traffic between Island View Road and Amity Drive from 12 to 1 p.m. Oct. 23. (Google Maps)
Section of Pat Bay Highway closes for Mi’kmaq fishing rights demonstration

Police will be diverting traffic Oct. 23 from noon to 1 p.m between Island View Road and Amity Drive

Oulette the Great Horned owl was spotted alive just days after her mate, Ollie, was found dead from suspected rat poisoning on Oct. 17. (Photo by Cheryl Redhead)
Great Horned owl mate found alive in Cuthbert Holmes Park

Oulette spotted in tree above where male Ollie died of suspected poisoning

Saanich firefighters were called out to Hartland Road on Oct. 21 to help transport a mountain biker with neck and back injuries out of the woods. (Black Press Media file photo)
Patient with neck, back injuries rescued from Saanich bike trails

Saanich firefighters called in to help paramedics with transportation off Mount Work

Saanich South Liberal candidate Rishi Sharma commits to addressing issues at the five-way intersection of Interurban and Wilkinson roads in partnership with the municipality if elected. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich South Liberal candidate commits to improving Interurban/Wilkinson intersection

‘Confusing five-way intersection,’ needs attention, Rishi Sharma says

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
Our Home on 8th, the Port Alberni Shelter that opened in March 2019, has 27 extra ‘extreme weather’ spaces for people who need a place to get out of the cold. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BC VOTES 2020: Mid-Island candidate plans occupation of shelter to protest homelessness

Graham Hughes says homeless situation a ‘crisis’ in Port Alberni

Parksville’s Jared Huggan won $75,000 playing BC/49. (BCLC/Photo submitted)
Vancouver Island man $75K richer after purchasing winning lottery ticket at Nanaimo Walmart

Parksville’s Huggan plans to purchase electric bike for partner

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for parts of Vancouver Island for Thursday and Friday.(File photo)
Snowfall expected in parts of Vancouver Island this week

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for north, east and inland Vancouver Island

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

Jordan Jay Ward is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for two counts of manslaughter. Photo supplied
Wanted man from Calgary may be on Vancouver Island

Jordan Jay Ward is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for two counts of manslaughter

FILE – A voting package for the 2018 electoral reform referendum. Vote-by-mail packages for the 2020 provincial election will look similar, according to information provided by Elections BC. (Katya Slepian - Black Press Media)
POLL: Have you voted yet?

As election day quickly approaches, hundreds of thousands of British Columbians have… Continue reading

Most Read