As crime rates in Canada increase, confidence in policing drops: poll

Crime rates in Canada dropped steadily from 1991 until 2014, but have since increased in the past four years

As crime rates in Canada are on an upwards trend the public’s confidence in policing is decreasing, according to a new nationwide poll.

Angus Reid Institute released its biennial study on perceptions of crime Friday, which asked 1,655 Canadians about their perceptions on crime and the justice system.

Crime rates in Canada dropped steadily from 1991 until 2014, falling more than 50 per cent during that period, but have since increased in the past four years, according to Statistics Canada data.

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Half of respondents, or 48 per cent, said they feel crime has increased in their community over the past five years, up from 42 per cent in 2018 and 30 per cent in 2014.

Fifty-seven per cent of respondents from B.C. said they have noticed an increase, while 31 per cent reported seeing no change. Four per cent said they feel there has been a decrease.

According to Statistics Canada’s crime severity index, the severity of crime in the province has increased by nearly eight percentage points since 2014. Meanwhile, the actual number of reported incidents have remained steady since 2015.

Eighty-two per cent of B.C. respondents reported that in the last two years they have been a victim of a crime which they reported to police.

But as perception of crime increases, confidence in policing has been on the decline since 2014, Angus Reid suggests.

Just under 55 per cent of British Columbians said they feel confident in the RCMP’s national efforts to stop crime. That’s compared to 67 per cent in 2014. Meanwhile, 57 per cent felt confident in their local municipal police force or RCMP detachment, compared to 63 per cent.

Among all respondents, the number of visible minority residents who say they have “no confidence at all” in the RCMP was double that of non-minority respondents, or 17 per cent compared to nince per cent, the poll results found.


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