A new survey conducted on behalf of the Calgary Police Commission suggests that Calgarians are very confident with the city’s police force.
When asked how confident they were that police could deliver the services needed to make Calgary safe, the survey – conducted by Illumina Research Partners — found 50 per cent were somewhat confident while an additional 45 per cent were very confident, suggesting 95 per cent overall confidence. That’s compared to 97 per cent overall confidence the year before.
Overall satisfaction with the police force also dropped slightly, dipping to 94 per cent compared to 95 per cent the year prior.
The results differ from a survey on Calgary’s police force released by Mainstreet Research last month, which indicated citizens had mixed reviews of the service.
According to the Mainstreet survey, released on Sept. 28, almost half of respondents (48 per cent) said they disapproved of the way the Calgary Police Service (CPS) is doing its job, while 39 per cent said they approve.
When asked about the discrepancy between the two surveys in a Wednesday news conference, Yvonne Brouwers from Illumina said the questions “were different.”
“They’re very different. We keep talking about confidence. The Illumina question was about confidence. Confidence that the Calgary police could deliver the services needed to make sure Calgary is a safe place to live – that is not the same question as the Mainstreet/Postmedia poll, which is all about do you approve or disapprove of the way the Calgary police are doing their jobs.”
Mainstreet, meanwhile, released a statement to media in which they defended the restults of their poll, stating “”Mainstreet polls are not academic exercises, we have consistently proven our methodology works in the real world.”
“There are significant differences between the two polls, and while we do not question the methodology or credentials of the other polling firm involved, we simply do not believe the numbers released today are an accurate reflection of public opinion.”
Calgary Police Commission vice-chair Brian Thiessen said the Mainstreet poll “was interesting” for them.
“What we’re looking for is, how can we learn from the Mainstreet poll and the survey that we’ve conducted.”
“The message we got from both was the same – citizens of Calgary are trending downwards in their confidence in the Calgary Police Service and we need to address that concern.”
The Illumina survey found public perception that officers are ethical has declined. In 2015, 45 per cent of respondents agreed that Calgary police officers were ethical, while this year, only 39 per cent agreed.
The survey also found a drastic decrease in the number who believe officers are competent in their duties, dropping from 48 per cent in 2015 to 43 per cent this year.
The Illumina Research Partners survey was conducted between June 28 and August 18, 2016 using a 17 minute, randomly conducted, telephone survey of 1,000 Calgary residents age 18 or older. Given the population of Calgary (1,096,833 based on the 2011 Census) with a sample size of 1,000 interviews, the results are predicted by Illumina to be accurate for the general population to within +/- 3.1% 19 times out of 20.
The complete 2016 Calgary Police Commission survey is available online at calgarypolicecommission.ca.
With files from Tracy Nagai