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British Columbians have least faith in RCMP

Angus Reid Public Opinion has released the results of a poll on Canadians’ confidence in the RCMP. It shows British Columbians’ faith in the force has “plummeted” on the eve of the 2010 Olympic Games, which the Mounties are entrusted with safeguarding. Among the Angus Reid findings:

A majority of Canadians (57%) say their confidence in the internal operations and leadership of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has stayed the same over the last two years. One-in-twenty (5%) say their confidence has increased, and one-in-three (32%) say it has decreased.

Two groups of Canadians appear particularly disappointed with the RCMP. Almost half of respondents aged 55 and over (45%) say their confidence in the internal operations and leadership of the RCMP has decreased.

In British Columbia, where the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski and its ensuing inquiry has been a major topic of conversation, three-in-five respondents (61%) say their views on the RCMP have worsened.

Angus Reid’s analysts note that, nationally, confidence in the RCMP remains better than for municipal police forces and the criminal courts. But they add:

“In British Columbia, the Dziekanski case has clearly changed perceptions, providing the force with its lowest rating by far in any region, just a few weeks before the Winter Olympics begin in Vancouver and Whistler.”

The full report, with detailed tables and methodology, is here as a PDF.

David Beers is editor of The Tyee.

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