Riot reignites B.C. police debate

After watching police from as far away as Abbotsford dispatched to help restore order in downtown Vancouver during last week's riot, people have found a new reason to support a single police agency for Metro Vancouver.

Members of the RCMP and the Abbotsford police (left) patrol Granville Street early Wednesday evening before the post-Stanley Cup riots in downtown Vancouver.

Members of the RCMP and the Abbotsford police (left) patrol Granville Street early Wednesday evening before the post-Stanley Cup riots in downtown Vancouver.

After watching police from as far away as Abbotsford dispatched to help restore order in downtown Vancouver during last week’s riot, people have found a new reason to support a single police agency for Metro Vancouver.

A post-riot poll of B.C. residents by Angus Reid Public Opinion found three out of five respondents favours amalgamation of the patchwork of city police and RCMP that serves the Lower Mainland. Two thirds of people in Metro Vancouver and the rest of B.C. believe police officers handled the situation properly once the Stanley Cup riot of 2011 broke out. And a similar majority opposed the idea that big street celebrations should be banned.

Four out of five agreed that non-lethal crowd control tools such as rubber bullets or bean bag shotguns should be an option for police.

Four out of five respondents also agreed with Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu’s assertion that the burning and looting were sparked by a small group of people.

The poll found disagreement with one official statement. Seven out of 10 respondents didn’t accept the idea that there was no way to know the crowd assembled in downtown Vancouver would become violent.

While public confidence in police remains high, the same can’t be said for the court system. On average, respondents expect only 32 per cent of those who broke laws to be prosecuted, and half expect that one in five or fewer perpetrators will be punished.

The online survey was conducted by 906 randomly selected B.C. adults, 515 of whom live in Metro Vancouver.

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Alert Bay council has decided to cancel Canada Day celebrations. (Alertbay.ca photo)
Alert Bay council cancels Canada Day celebrations

The decision was made in wake of the mass graves being found at former residential schools

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press Media file
Port Hardy RCMP on the hunt for porta-pottie arsonist

The porta-potties were lit on fire early in the morning on June 13

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Most Read