Date: Friday, May 28th, 2021

Victoria, BC – Today, we’re beginning a deeper dive into the results of our recently released 2021 VicPD Community Survey. Over the  many years the Community Survey has been administered, we’ve heard questions about how we conduct the survey and arrive at the results. For our first deep dive, we’re taking you behind the scenes to explain our methodology.

The VicPD Community Survey is an opportunity for us to reach out to the communities of Victoria and Esquimalt to hear from them how we are doing and to allow us to identify and track trends in the responses.

Our goal is to get as close as possible to an unbiased, clear understanding of how residents and businesses in Victoria and Esquimalt feel we are doing, and how that perspective has changed over time.


We approach our survey design with a similar level of rigour as though we were to publish our results as in an academic journal. Our survey design is also based on Statistics Canada guidelines on survey design and ongoing national environmental scans of existing police surveys.

Who did we survey?

Policing is an important subject for our community. While VicPD as a whole strives to provide as much opportunity as possible for you to give us feedback, the survey isn’t open to everyone who wishes to self-select. Self-selection for a survey creates a biased sample. Instead, we utilized random sampling.

Surveys invitations were mailed to a random sample of addresses to confirm residency or business location in Victoria or Esquimalt. The results of the survey are specific to our jurisdiction of Victoria and Esquimalt.

Allowing people to take a survey more than once also creates a biased sample. Each survey mailout included a unique token allowing each respondent to only take the survey a single time.

Due to these approaches, all survey respondents were Victoria or Esquimalt residents or business owners, operators or employees and were only able to take the survey once.

The survey period was March 3rd to April 6th, 2021.

How many people responded?

4,639 survey invitations were mailed out. 1,163 people completed the survey. That’s a response rate of 25%.

11.2 people out of every 1,000 people in Victoria and Esquimalt completed the 2021 VicPD Community Survey.



How accurate are these results?

The margin of error for the 2021 VicPD Community Survey  is 2.86%, with a 95% confidence level.

The best way to think about this accuracy is that if this survey was administered 100 times, in 95 of those instances the results would reflect the actual population results (in our case, the populations of Victoria and Esquimalt) to within 2.86%.

We’re proud of that reliability result, which is similar to that of Stats Canada levels of error on instruments like the long and short form census.

Up next | Has The Perception of Crime Changed?

Next week, we’ll take a deeper dive look at a survey question about your perception of crime. For the full survey details, including responses to all the questions, methodology and percentage of error visit: