Almost half of Vancouverites do not trust they would be treated fairly by the Vancouver Police Department, a new poll by Mainstreet Research has found.
The national public research firm surveyed 645 Vancouver residents on October 31, by landline and cellphone, about their views on the VPD.
It found 48% of respondents would not trust the Vancouver Police Department to investigate them fairly.
“That’s a very sobering result for police leaders to appreciate,” said Mark Towhey, a keynote speaker at the BC Law Enforcement Diversity Network Conference, in a release.
The Mainstreet Research survey found that while VPD had a high approval rating – 64% – among those polled, 57% said they would not recommend a police career to their children.
Some 67% of the Vancouver residents surveyed thought police officers are held
accountable for their misconduct – but 11% disagreed.
Perhaps it was the same 11% of respondents who believed the main driving force for recruits pursuing a police career was the desire for power and privilege.
The Mainstreet poll about the VPD was carried out just three days after Daily Hive revealed video showing Coquitlam RCMP dragging an elderly man down the stairs.
The video, which also showed officers manhandling the man’s elderly wife as their young granddaughter cried at officers, provoked an outpouring of criticism of the police.
Speaking the day after the incident, the man who captured the video, Victor Kim, told Daily Hive he thought the police officers he had filmed had no conscience.
“I respect what they do, but after last night, it makes me think… If they can do that to an old couple, what else will they do to anybody?” said Kim.
In a statement issued to Daily Hive, Supt. Sean Maloney, Officer in Charge of Coquitlam RCMP, said Coquitlam RCMP relies on the trust and cooperation of the community.
“Policing is and must be a partnership with the community,” said Maloney. “I respect and understand that the video may cause concern to the public.”
New Westminster Police and the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP are now both investigating the incident.