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

Fernie man receives federal fire service medal

Kim Sedrovic is retiring from Fernie Fire Rescue after 25 years with the service

Thrift shop turns five

Elk Valley Thrift Shop Society has raised $370,000 since inception

Elk Valley mayors to lead hospital district board

Dean McKerracher, David Wilks elected to Kootenay East Regional Hospital District Board

Rezoning paves way for next stages of Montane Fernie

Multi-family units, cottages, recreational facilities planned as part of multimillion-dollar project

Ghostriders defuse Dynamiters at home

Game 13 proves unlucky for Mountain division leaders Kimberley

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

B.C. man linked to human remains probe to stand trial on unrelated assault case

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen will appear on all three Vernon matters this week

B.C. lumber industry trade mission still has high hopes for China

Forests Minister Doug Donaldson cut short trip after Japan, Korea stops

Omar Khadr to ask for Canadian passport to travel, permission to speak to sister

He spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught when he was 15

One of Tori Stafford’s killers transferred to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

Military closes book on oft-criticized support unit for ill, injured troops

The transition unit will provide support and services to military members struggling with physical and mental injuries so they can return to work.

Most Read