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

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Dylan Hillis preparing collagen samples from ancient dog bones at the UBC musuem of Anthropology. Photo: Eric Guiry
Ancient ‘woolly dog’ ate mostly fish, new University of Victoria study finds

Study gives researchers better understanding of human-dog relationships on Tsehaht First Nation

Ucluelet First Nation president Chuck McCarthy, right, stands with Ucluelet’s mayor and council during the Oct. 13 flag raising ceremony. (Submitted photo)
Council chambers host Ucluelet First Nation flag raising ceremony

District of Ucluelet and Yuułuʔiłʔath Government look towards moving forward collectively

The School District 70 administration office in Port Alberni. AV NEWS FILE PHOTO
School District 70 gets a new name

Name change reflects district’s West Coast roots

(Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay)
QUIZ: A celebration of colour

Fall in British Columbia is a time to enjoy a spectrum of vivid colours

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Most Read