Vast majority of BC residents think the justice system is too soft on criminals: survey

Dec 30 2022, 9:11 pm

Crime and public safety issues continue to be a major concern in British Columbia, with a new survey showing this dissatisfaction extends to the justice system.

Nearly three-quarters of BC residents (74%) believe the justice system is too soft on criminal offenders, and this proportion increases to 85% for residents aged 55 and over, according to Research Co.

Fraser Valley residents (90%) are also more likely to believe the justice system is too soft, compared to residents in Metro Vancouver (85%) and Vancouver Island (also 85%).

Across political lines, large majorities of residents who voted for all three major parties in the last provincial election want additional resources for the justice system — BC Liberals (88%), BC NDP (85%), and BC Greens (73%).

Only 19% of residents rate the justice system with a high satisfactory grade range of eight to 10, with 10 being excellent. A quarter (25%) rate the justice system as poor, with a grade range of one to three out of 10, while half of residents (50%) gave a grade between four and seven out of 10.

Moreover, more than four-in-five residents (82%) think the justice system needs more resources because it takes too long to get cases dealt with.

Within the City of Vancouver, the recent civic election that saw the ABC Vancouver party come into power with a super majority hold in governance was partially driven by its promise to address growing crime and public safety issues. ABC has since started the ball rolling on enhanced public safety, including the hiring of 100 additional Vancouver Police officers and 100 Vancouver Coastal Health mental health nurses.

The provincial government’s new leadership under Premier David Eby has also made public safety and crime a top priority, including the measure of a $230 million increase in province-wide policing funding to help hire more officers.

Eby has also noted that there will be forthcoming measures to better address violent and prolific offenders.


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