From left: Ivan Scott, the leader of the group called Keep RCMP in Surrey, and Surrey city councillor Brenda Locke. (File photos: Now-Leader)

Policing

Councillors say new policing poll shows ‘disconnect’ between mayor, Surrey residents

McCallum said city’s June survey showed ‘overwhelming support’ for new force; latest poll suggests otherwise

Two Surrey councillors say a newly released survey on police transition issues “prove that there is a disconnect between (Mayor Doug) McCallum and the residents of Surrey.”

The Surrey Police Issues Study and survey, released Monday, was commissioned by “a group of concerned citizens” and sponsored by a group called Keep RCMP in Surrey, said Ivan Scott the leader of the group petitioning the city.

READ ALSO: Surrey RCMP supporters make noise during rally outside city hall, Sept. 16, 2019

Scott said he believes the group is “completely vindicated” by the results.

“One of the things that Mr. McCallum has said is that he speaks for the people and at this particular point in time, on this particular issue, he does not speak for the people. According to this, his popularity is at an all-time low,” Scott said.

In the joint release, independent Surrey councilllors Jack Hundial and Brenda Locke said the Surrey Police Issues Study was conducted by residents “because what they were hearing from local citizens did not line up with Mayor McCallum’s often repeated claims that he was speaking on behalf of the people” for the city’s policing transition.

READ ALSO: Province approves Surrey’s plan to establish municipal force, Aug. 22, 2019

“The survey results prove that there is a disconnect between McCallum and the residents of Surrey,” they added.

The study, which surveyed 400 Surrey residents, was conducted between Sept. 6 and 8 using “live interviewers and included landlines and wireless phone numbers.”

The study asked respondents if “things are going in the right direction or the wrong track?”; and whether people have a “strongly favourable, somewhat favourable, somewhat unfavourable or very unfavourable opinion” of McCallum and the RCMP.

Thirty-seven per cent of respondents said the city is going in the “right direction,” while 42 per cent said it’s moving in the “wrong track.”

Seven per cent of respondents said they found McCallum “very favourable,” 25 per cent found him “somewhat favourable,” 20 per cent found him “somewhat unfavourable,” 26 per cent found him “very unfavourable” and six per cent “do not recognize the name.” Forty-four per cent said they found the RCMP “very favourable,” 37 per cent found RCMP “somewhat favourable,” five per cent found RCMP “somewhat unfavourable” and five per cent found RCMP “very unfavourable.”

The study, Locke said, came about after the City of Surrey released its Citizen Consultation Survey on the police transition on June 24, which said there was “overwhelming support” for the proposed Surrey force, following a five-week period of 23 public engagement events throughout Surrey.

In that survey, the city said 11,103 responses were received and “key findings” from it included 93 per cent of respondents strongly agreeing or agreeing that “It’s time that Surrey had a police department that is locally led”; and that 98 per cent strongly agreed or agreed that “I believe our police department should prioritize its efforts based on what is important to Surrey citizens.”

OUR VIEW: Surrey mayor jumps to conclusion on police transition survey results, June 24, 2019

When the city’s survey results were released in June, McCallum stated in a release that the responses “speak volumes about the overwhelming support the citizens of Surrey have for the creation of a Surrey Police Department.”

“It is clear to me that the people of Surrey are ready for the switch to a city police department and it is my desire to deliver on their wishes.”

On Tuesday, Locke said the new survey is a “good information piece” and “tells us that the city’s survey of public opinion was flawed, first of all, but it certainly shows that there is a real discrepancy in what the city says is public support and what is public support.”

Hundial, who has been critical of the city’s survey results, said the latest study gives a “really clear direction from people.” He said when he looks at the results, it tells him “people don’t like the mayor and people want to the keep the RCMP.”



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

White Rock dogs-on-promenade survey shows majority approval

City figures suggest that off-season program could continue

UPDATE: Pedestrian dies after being hit by bus in uptown White Rock

Collision occurred July 3 at North Bluff Road and Johnston Road

Intent of killing at centre of Surrey man’s West Kelowna murder trial

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Allison Beames is anticipated to return with her decision in August

PHOTOS: South Surrey tractor project evokes ‘$1-million smile,’ helps connect neighbours

Retired Surrey firefighter Ron Henze began project for friend’s dad to fill time during pandemic

Surrey man facing charges related to child pornography

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Greater Vancouver home sales start to tick up, with prices holding steady

Residential sales last month reached 2,443, a 64.5 per cent jump from May

Langley Lodge’s deadly outbreak declared over

Fraser Health and long-term care home administrator confirm Friday declaration

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

Search continues for person seen floating in Coquihalla River in Hope

Rescuers halted the search Thursday night as darkness fell

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

Most Read