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London police unveil results of survey aimed at gauging public trust

A new survey from Leger has found Londoners have a more positive outlook on their local police service than the national average.
A new survey from Leger has found Londoners have a more positive outlook on their local police service than the national average. Matthew Trevithick / 980 CFPL

London police have unveiled the results of a recent survey that aimed to gauge the public’s trust in the city’s police force.

The survey was conducted by independent research firm Leger and pulled results from telephone interviews with 500 Londoners, a sliver of the city’s population of nearly 400,000 people.

READ MORE: London police to conduct phone survey gauging public trust

The survey was conducted from Sept. 16 to 30 and saw most respondents take a positive tone when speaking about London police.

The survey’s key findings are as follows:

  • A total of 87 per cent of survey respondents trust police (compared to a national rate of 73 per cent).
  • Eighty-seven per cent of respondents are satisfied with police (compared to a national rate of 72 per cent).
  • Of the survey’s respondents, 84 per cent believe the London Police Service is committed to meeting expectations (compared to a national rate of 65 per cent).
  • Seventy-nine per cent of respondents believe the London Police Service is honest and transparent (compared to a national rate of 64 per cent).
  • A total of 79 per cent believe the London Police Service is “concerned about people like me” (compared to a national rate of 59 per cent).
  • Of the survey’s respondents, 61 per cent have a good opinion of London police (compared to a national rate of 55 per cent), while nine per cent have a bad opinion (compared to a national rate of 13 per cent). Thirty per cent said they don’t know the London Police Service well enough to have an opinion.
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Respondent profile

Leger noted that positive opinions of London police were stable across different ages, genders and geographic locations. Those making at least $80,000 a year were more likely to express a positive opinion of police than those who make less.

Fifteen per cent of respondents identified as visible minorities — proportionately less than the city’s total makeup of visible minorities, which Statistics Canada listed at 20 per cent in its 2016 census. Leger’s report did not provide information on how many respondents identified as Indigenous.

Nearly half of all respondents to the survey have a university education.

The margin of error for the study was +/-4.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

READ MORE: London’s top cop reacts to newly public details of assault of woman in police custody

The survey also took into account a six-part story from the London Free Press that shed light on the professional misconduct charges against Sgt. Peter Paquette.

Following the story’s publication, Leger said no significant change was found in respondents’ answers, though the company noted a seven per cent drop in respondents’ belief the London Police Service is honest and transparent.

London police said Leger was contracted to conduct the survey for a cost of $16,000.

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Its results will be discussed at the London Police Services board meeting on Tuesday afternoon.