Poll finds many don’t trust Vancouver Police would treat them fairly

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Public trust in the Vancouver Police Department
WATCH: A new survey suggest the Vancouver police forces still has the public’s trust. But as Nadia Stewart reports, not everyone believe they’d get a fair investigation – Nov 9, 2016

A large proportion of Vancouverites don’t trust the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) to treat them fairly, according to a new poll.

The study by Mainstreet Research found just over half of people in Vancouver reported feeling confident the VPD would investigate them fairly. Sixty-four per cent said they approve of the work the department does.

On the flip side, 29 per cent of respondents said they weren’t too confident they’d be treated fairly, and 11 per cent said they weren’t confident at all.

“The public is starting to lose faith in the police. We see it on the news, we see it in protests, but we’re seeing it in places where we never saw it before,” said Mark Towhey of Ballacaine Strategy and Execution.

“This is more than Black Lives Matter, this is more than the occasional protest. They’re starting to lose the confidence of white, middle-aged men. Law and order conservatives are starting to think that maybe the police aren’t going to do a good job if it comes to me,” Towhey added.

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The survey also found people in Vancouver were largely supportive of body cameras. Fifty-six per cent of respondents supported the high-tech surveillance option.

With the right rules in place, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association says body cameras could work for everyone.

“In some cases, that’ll work to the benefit of the officers too,” Josh Paterson, executive director, said. “They will also have a record of these incidents where allegations are being made against them.”

With files from Nadia Stewart

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