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.

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

Port Hardy council stands with Marine Harvest

Mayor and council went out on the water to experience local aquaculture firsthand.

Marine Harvest Upper Island Riptide U18 Girls bring home provincial gold

“This has been an extra-ordinary season with a diverse group of young ladies…”

Heat warning issued for Vancouver Island

Temperatures expected to cool down later this week

Port Alice considers taking back Link River

Village debates not renewing agreement with RDMW

Living with obsessive compulsive disorder

The Big Read: Vancouver Island mom calls for more mental health services as son battles OCD

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

B.C. baseball team offers funeral prize pack

Wednesday’s West Coast League game in Victoria features draw for end-of-life package

Black Press Media journalists win big at Canadian community newspaper awards

Newsrooms earn recognition for editorial and photography excellence

Short trip to car-free Sidney Spit offers camping, beaches, hikes

Sidney Spit is part of B.C.’s Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, a protected marine ecosystem

Riptide, CVUSC paved the way for varsity soccer players

Chloe Gummer has become a leader at VIU

B.C. woman disappointed after family asked for ID at townhouse complex pool

Surrey woman says it’s not the first time she has experienced racial profiling at the complex

Park pipeline protesters say arrest is a ‘declaration of war’

Group behind North Thompson River Provincial Park occupation protest says arrest is ‘declaration of war’

A day of deals at Amazon, and at its rivals

Online retail giant extends annual ‘Prime Day’ promotion to 36 hours

Alert B.C. campers raise alarm and avert potential propane disaster

Salmon Arm camper lodges a complaint with Technical Safety BC after motorhome tank is over-filled.

Most Read