Date: Wednesday, June 16th, 2021
Victoria, BC – We recently released the results of our 2021 VicPD Community Survey. 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.
Conducted in 2014, 2017 and 2020 before moving to an annual process for 2021, the VicPD Community Survey allows us to identify and track trends in the responses.
This week, we’re taking a closer look at if respondents feel VicPD is accountable.
The VicPD Community Survey is conducted by random, statistically significant sample, as part of our efforts to get as close as possible to an unbiased perspective. Previously, we took an in-depth look at our methodology and why we trust the results.
You can review the full results and methodology on our Open VicPD Community Survey Portal.
Do people feel VicPD is accountable?
Accountability to the communities we serve is vital to our legitimacy and our ability to do our part in keeping these communities safe and healthy.
Police accountability in general has previously been an ongoing topic of discussion that we measure each time we conduct the VicPD Community Survey. There has been an increased focus on police accountability locally, provincially, nationally and internationally during the 2021 VicPD Community Survey period as the world continues to reckon with George Floyd’s murder at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, the legacies of colonialism, and structural and systemic discrimination in wider society.
Each year we ask VicPD Community Survey respondents if they feel VicPD is accountable. They are asked to choose from three options; “yes”, “no”, and “I don’t know”.
This year we saw an increase from 6% of respondents to 10% of respondents who answered “no”. We also saw a 10% decrease in respondents who answered “yes” from 56% in 2021 to 46% in 2021. We also saw a 6% increase in those who responded “I don’t know”, to 44% in 2021. In past surveys “I don’t know” responses have remained consistently between 30% and 44%.
Our Key Insights
VicPD Community Survey respondents have less certainty that VicPD is accountable, with both “no” and “I don’t know” measurings increasing, while “yes” measures have decreased. We have taken note of the continuing significant number of respondents reporting “I don’t know” and are looking towards future work outlining how police in B.C. and VicPD in particular are held to account, the roles of independent police oversight bodies such as the Independent Investigations Office of BC and the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner of BC, as well as outlining the mechanisms in place for raising concerns.
Up next | Do respondents feel VicPD uses authority and force appropriately?
Next week, we’ll look at another survey question, this time asking if respondents feel VicPD uses force and authority appropriately. For the full survey details, including responses to all the questions, methodology and percentage of error visit: https://vicpd.ca/open-vicpd/community-survey/