A recent Research Co. poll shows positive trends when it comes to how safe British Columbians feel in their cities.
About two-thirds of the 800 British Columbians who participated in an online survey said they would feel safe walking alone in their own neighbourhood after dark, virtually unchanged from a similar poll conducted in August 2019.
About 41 per cent of respondents said they fear becoming crime victims in their community, which is up only one per cent from last year’s poll. Participants aged 18 to 34 were the group most likely to fear being victimized by crime, at 56 per cent.
Approximately 45 per cent of survey participants blamed addiction and mental health issues for crime in their communities, while 38 per cent pointed to gangs and the illegal drug trade. Nine per cent blamed the crime rate on immigrants and minorities.
“In April, 27 per cent of British Columbians suggested that insufficient policing was one of the factors to blame for criminal activity in their community,” Research Co. president Mario Canseco said. “In December, only 16 per cent feel the same way.”
Eighty per cent of British Columbians (up one per cent from 2018) support enacting handgun bans within municipal limits. A slightly higher number of residents – 83 per cent – support prohibiting military-style assault weapons.
The online survey took place over two days in December 2020.