More than half of British Columbians believe crime levels are on the rise: poll | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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More than half of British Columbians believe crime levels are on the rise: poll

More than half of British Columbians believe criminal activity has increased in the past four years, according to a recent opinion poll.

An April 12 Research Co. survey found that 54% of BC residents say levels of criminal activity have increased in the community over the past four years, down four points since a similar survey was conducted in 2023.

The survey also shows that only 17% of British Columbians have been victims of a crime involving the police in the past four years, the lowest rate in the five provinces surveyed followed by Ontario at 14%, according to a media release issued today, April 12.

While few have fallen victim to criminal activity, more than half (51%) are "a great deal" or "a fair amount" scared that they will become victims of crime in their community.

Manitoba is the province where residents are the most likely to perceive crime to be on the rise in their community at 63%, while residents of Alberta are most likely to fall victim to a crime with nearly one in four residents (23%) having been victimized in the past four years.

When it comes to feeling safe, Ontarians are the most likely to feel "very safe" or "moderately safe" walking alone in their neighbourhood after dark at 71%. They are followed by Saskatchewan and British Columbia, both at 65%.

Of the results from five provinces surveyed, those asked in four believe addiction and mental health issues to be the main factors in the current crime and public safety context. Saskatchewan first blames gangs and the illegal drug trade.

“Most residents of these five Canadian provinces gravitate primarily to addiction and mental health when thinking about crime and public safety,” Mario Canseco, President of Research Co., said in the release. “In no province do we see at least three in ten respondents blaming insufficient policing or lack of resources to combat crime for the current situation.”

In BC, after addiction and mental health issues, 39% of residents believe gangs and illegal drug trade to be the main issue, followed by poverty and inequality at 36%, an inadequate court system at 35% and a bad economy and unemployment at 29%.

The survey was conducted online from March 29 to 31 among 3,200 participants across the country. The data was then statistically weighed according to data from the Canadian census to obtain age, gender and region-specific figures.

To view the survey's analysis and the data tables, visit the Research Co. website here

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