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

This Crescent Beach home, located at 12505 22 Ave., was subject of a police search warrant June 18. (Google image)
Civil Forfeiture Office alleges Crescent Beach home used to launder money

Court documents request the home, and $85,000 to be turned over to the government

Incumbents Ravi Kahlon (BC NDP) and Ian Paton (BC Liberals) are set to serve another term in office representing Delta North and Delta South, respectively. (Submitted photos)
UPDATED: Incumbents hold on in Delta North, Delta South

Ravi Kahlon (BC NDP) and Ian Paton (BC Liberals) lead in their respective races; mail-in ballots still to count

Surrey firefighters battle a house fire near the 70A Avenue and 126A Street intersection early Sunday morning. According to a witness, it appears that the occupants were able to get out without injury. (Shane MacKichan photos)
PHOTOS: Fire causes extensive damage to Surrey home

Occupants able to escape without injury: witness

Delview Thanks4Giving committee members Alexa Liptak (left) and Amanda Quibing stand with the donation box outside the school’s front entrance. (James Smith photo)
Thanks 4 Giving food drive going drive-thru due to COVID-19

Organizers hope North Delta residents will come to them for Delview Secondary’s annual food drive

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

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

Most Read