Community Safety Survey
Held in High Regard Across Ontario
Some see crime, relations with the community getting worse
TORONTO December 22nd
– In a random sampling of public opinion taken by The Forum Poll™ among 7729 Ontario
residents of 38 towns that have their own police forces, the vast majority feel
safe in their communities, have confidence in their police services, and find
them trustworthy and courteous; just slightly fewer are satisfied with the last
time they encountered a police officer and are satisfied with their police
services overall. Some feel, however, that there is more crime in the past
year, or that the relationship between the police and the community has gotten
worse in the past year.
Vast majority feel safe in their city
respondents feel safe in their communities (87%) and one half feel “very safe”
(48%). Feeling very safe is common to the oldest (54%), males (51%) rather than
females (45%) and among those who claim a middle eastern background (54%).
Confidence in police very high
The vast majority
are confident in their local police (82%), and as many as 4-in-10 (44%) have a
great deal of confidence. High confidence in police is characteristic of the
oldest (57%), the least educated (50%) and aboriginal Canadians (51%).
Almost all find their police trustworthy
The vast majority
say their police are trustworthy (84%) and close to half say they are very
trustworthy (47%). High trust in police is common to the oldest (58%).
Half see police as “very courteous”
Almost all find
their police courteous (85%) and almost half find them “very courteous” (48%).
Seeing the police as very polite is common to the oldest (62%), females (53%)
rather than males (44%), the least educated (55%) and aboriginal Canadians
Satisfaction with police interactions high
Among the one half
of respondents who had an encounter with a police officer in the past year
(48%), the wide majority are satisfied with the interaction (79%), and more
than half found it “very satisfactory” (56%). High satisfaction with a recent
police interaction is characteristic of the oldest (69%), the least educated
(63%) and aboriginal Canadians (60%).
Three quarters are satisfied overall
When respondents are
asked about their satisfaction overall with the police services they have
received in the past year, three quarters are satisfied (72%) and as many as
4-in-10 find the service “very satisfactory” (39%). High satisfaction overall
is common to the oldest (45%), eastern Ontario (44%), the least educated (44%)
and aboriginal Canadians (51%).
Twice as many see more crime than see less crime this year
One quarter of
respondents say there is more crime in their communities now than a year ago
(25%), while less than half this proportion, about a tenth, say there is less
crime (11%). As many as one half say crime levels have not changed (49%) and
about one sixth don’t have an opinion (16%).
Plurality say police treat everyone fairly
The plurality of
those asked, about 4-in-10, say the police treat everyone fairly (38%), while
just fewer say they treat people “somewhat fairly” (33%). One seventh say
police do not treat everyone fairly at all (14%) and a similar proportion don’t
venture an opinion (15%).
One fifth see relations between community and police as worse
While one half say
relations between their community and the police have not changed in the past
year (49%), one fifth see the relationship getting worse (21%), while fewer see
it getting better (15%). A similar proportion don’t offer an opinion (15%).
Violent crime seen as top priority for police
Violent crime is
seen as the top police priority by one half (48%), and is followed by property
crime (15%), drug crime (14%), and improving relations with the community
(14%). Few see traffic enforcement as a priority (9%).
Just more than one tenth are crime victims
Just more than a
tenth have been victims of a crime in the past year (13%), and this is most
common among the youngest (19%), aboriginal Canadians (23%), black Canadians
(20%) and those who identify as a minority (18%).
“It appears that,
with some local variations, Ontario’s local police forces do a very good job
securing their communities, and getting along with those they serve and
protect. That being said, it also appears that some see crime on the rise, and
some are less than satisfied with their interactions with the police," said Forum Research Vice President, William Schatten.
William Schatten, is
the Vice President of Research and Analytics at Forum Research. He can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
or at (416) 960-1310.