Surrey’s mayor is claiming a survey conducted in recent months overwhelmingly shows support for a move to a Surrey Police Department over the current RCMP.
A citizen engagement process was launched on May 7, and since then, the city has polled more than 11,000 people.
Ninety three per cent of those polled agreed it was “time that Surrey had a police department that is locally led.”
Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum takes that to mean there’s overwhelming support for a Surrey Police Department.
“The results of the survey responses speak volumes about the overwhelming support the citizens of Surrey have for the creation of a Surrey Police Department,” McCallum said in a release. “It is clear to me that the people of Surrey are ready for the switch to a city police department and it is my desire to deliver on their wishes.”
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.