Populace Split On Chief Saunders’ First Year

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Populace Split On Chief Saunders’ First Year

Many feel less safe now than a year ago

TORONTO May 17th, 2016 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 804 Toronto voters one the eve of the anniversary of Police Chief Mark Saunders’ first year on the job, he maintains his positive approval rating of about one half (48%) (in comparison to three quarters for the mayor (75%)).

Populace split on job rating

Four-in-ten voters give the chief a positive job rating (excellent/good - 40%) and an equal proportion give him a negative job rating (fair/poor - 40%). One tenth describe the job he’s done in his first year as “excellent” (11%). Those who give the chief the highest ratings are commonly older (55 to 64 - 17%), wealthy ($80K to $1200K - 20%), the least educated (16%), in Etobicoke and in York (17% each).

One quarter feel less safe in Toronto than a year ago

One quarter of voters say they feel less safe in Toronto now than a year ago (27%), and this is twice the proportion who feel safer now (12%). Of course, the majority feels the city is neither more nor less safe now than it was (52%). Those who feel the city has become less safe are most likely to be mid-aged (45 to 54 - 34%), mid income ($60K to $80K - 31%), in Etobicoke (31%), the least educated (33%) and among those who voted for Doug Ford (38%).

One quarter think community relations worse now than a year ago

One quarter also think community relations with the police have suffered in the past year (23%), and this is more than the proportion saying relations are better (14%). Once again, the majority see no change having taken place (56%). Saying community relations with the police are worse now than a year ago is common to the mid aged (45 to 54 - 30%), and among Doug Ford (30%) and Olivia Chow voters (28%).

One half don’t believe carding prevents crime

One half of voters doubt the central argument for carding - that it prevents crime (47%), while as few as one quarter believe it does (25%). A slightly larger proportion doesn’t know (28%). Those in favour of carding are older (55 to 64 - 31%), in Etobicoke (35%), among the least educated (35%), those who approve of the chief (31%) and Doug Ford voters (37%).

“We have tracked Mark Saunders’ popularity for a year now, and it’s steady at about one half the population. It appears, however, his popularity is rooted in the status
quo, not in taking any bold steps in policing” said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

 Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at lbozinoff@forumresearch.com or at (416) 960-9603.