Reviews are mixed over a recent poll by the city over whether to move to a Surrey Police Department instead of the RCMP.
The numbers coming back from the city-commissioned online poll are staggeringly high. A full 93 per cent of those who took part in the online survey said they wanted a police department that is locally led.
Mayor Doug McCallum told Pulse FM he was unsurprised by the huge support.
“We campaigned for the last six months on our police and we found those percentages out in the public, and during the last three months I have had zero push back (opposition to the idea),” McCallum said.
Coun. Laurie Guerra said Monday she was surprised, but delighted, by the high support.
“Yeah, I was very excited and very shocked that they were that high,” Guerra said. “I knew they were going to be, it’s definitely what we ran on.”
At least two city councillors have their doubts about how the numbers are being interpreted.
Coun. Brenda Locke said there’s a lot of pressure on staff regarding this file, and it should have been given to a consultant.
“The results, and the interpretation of the results, are exactly why we should have had a third party do this review in the first place,” Locke said. “I think they (the numbers) may be skewed because there’s an intent to receive a result.”
Coun. Jack Hundial agrees, and says the poll results don’t reflect the reaction he got from the consultation meetings he attended.
“That’s not what I observed in communicating with residents,” Hundial said.
Some are questioning the veracity of the polling data, saying the information was also culled from online polling, which may have allowed for multiple votes and didn’t restrict the answers to Surrey residents.
Because it was an online poll without safeguards against repeat IP use, a single person could submit repeated responses.
Other questions asked in the poll:
I want increased unformed police patrols in my neighbourhood: 98%
Our police department should focus more on violent crime than property crime: 95%
I want a police department that emphasizes crime prevention programs: 96%
I want a police department that works proactively to solve crimes: 99%
I want police officers to build their career in Surrey so they know the community well: 98%
Unlike other polls, a margin of error was not provided in the report.