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

(Photo: Twitter@SurreyRCMP)
Surrey Mounties, pet owners, bracing for Halloween

Last year the Surrey RCMP received 147 fireworks complaints on Diwali and 121 on Halloween

Signage outside of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in South Surrey advises of the drive-thru schedule. (Contributed photo)
Cold-weather clothing donations sought at South Surrey drive-thru effort

Weekly collection continues in Mount Olive Lutheran Church parking lot

(Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police investigating after another teen girl followed in Tsawwassen

Police say a man in a burgundy car approached teen girls on at least two, possibly three occasions

White Rock RCMP are searching for Richard John Lewis, who is wanted on warrants for assault and uttering threats. (RCMP handout)
White Rock RCMP searching for wanted man

Richard John Lewis is wanted on warrants for assault, uttering threats

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

The B.C. Teacher Regulation Branch has issued a decision about the actions of an elementary school teacher in Langley. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley elementary teacher suspended for grabbing, shoving, yelling at kids

Roxann Rojas will lose her legal authority to teach for two weeks from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, 2020

Most Read