Opinions on the Surrey Police Force

June 28, 2023

Leger surveyed British Columbians from June 22 to 26, 2023 to explore their perspectives on the Surrey police force, including which police force the city should have, whether they feel there should be a public referendum on which police force the city should have and more.

SOME OF THE KEY FINDINGS OF OUR SURVEY ON THE SURREY POLICE FORCE INCLUDE… 

  • Awareness of the issue of whether Surrey should transition to the Surrey Police Service (SPS) or stay with the RCMP is extremely high (86%), and the majority of British Columbians are following the news about it (55% total following the news, 18% closely).
    • The figures are expectedly higher in Metro Vancouver (92% aware, 61% total following, 23% closely), but even those in other regions are clearly seeing and paying attention to this issue.
  • Between the two, British Columbians would pick the RCMP (46%) over the SPS (26%) as the police force to go forward with, although many are unsure (27%).
    • Support for the RCMP is higher in Metro Vancouver (49%) than elsewhere, but this is in part because fewer are not sure (25% in Metro Vancouver vs. 33% on Vancouver Island and 29% in the rest of B.C.).
    • The RCMP is still the top choice in all regions and subgroups.

Chart showing B.C. residents' preferred police force for Surrey

  • 63% of British Columbians think there should be a public referendum that allows the people of Surrey to vote on which police force the city should have.
    • The results are quite consistent by region and among subgroups across B.C.
  • The public is divided as to who should make the ultimate decision on which police force Surrey should have, and many are unsure (24%). Still, the municipal government (40%) edges out the provincial government (36%) overall.
    • Results are again quite consistent across the regions, with the municipal government getting just slightly higher support than the provincial government.

In a Leger survey of Surrey residents conducted in September 2022, right before the municipal elections, there was also support for keeping the RCMP. At that time, 29% wanted to continue with the SPS, 51% wanted to reverse the decision and go back to the RCMP, and 19% were not sure.

SURVEY METHODOLOGY 

  • 1,001 residents of British Columbia aged 18 or older were surveyed online using Leger’s online panel, LEO, from June 22 to 26, 2023 and 554 residents of Surrey were surveyed using Leger’s online panel, LEO, from September 29 to October 5, 2022.
  • Using data from the 2021 Census, the results for each study were weighted according to age, gender, region, education and presence of children in the household in order to ensure a representative sample of the population in British Columbia and the city of Surrey, respectively.  
  • No margin of error can be associated with a non-probability sample.  However, for comparative purposes, a probability sample of 1,001 respondents would have a margin of error of ±3.1%, 19 times out of 20, and a probability sample of 554 respondents would have a margin of error of ±4.2%, 19 times out of 20.

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