7 in 10 Surrey residents support community safety initiatives proposed by New Democrat MLAs: poll
SURREY – A poll of Surrey residents found broad support for five
measures proposed by New Democrat MLAs to address the health and
safety challenges facing B.C.’s fastest-growing city.
The poll, which was commissioned by the New Democrat Opposition
Caucus and conducted by Insights West, found that 69 per cent of Surrey
residents supported the community safety measures. Only 18 per cent of
respondents were opposed.
Respondents were asked whether they supported the Surrey Accord
promoted by the MLAs, through which federal, provincial and
municipal governments would work in a coordinated way to address
the problems of crime, mental health and addictions, and housing in
the community. Specific measures proposed in the accord include more
policing, community courts, regulating recovery homes, committing to a
mental health strategy, and creating more accessible social housing.
“When asked about the Surrey Accord, people across Surrey were very
supportive. It’s clear they want to see governments working in a more
coordinated fashion to solve the problems facing our community,” said
Harry Bains, New Democrat MLA for Surrey-Newton.
The poll also asked residents if they had been following the debate about
what measures all levels of government could take to address community
safety, and found that nearly three quarters of Surrey residents had been
following this issue closely. It also revealed a significant gap in the trust
that Surrey residents felt in their provincial government, which only a
quarter thought were doing a good job of coming up with solutions to the
problems facing Surrey.
“This poll found that people in Surrey are concerned about the same
things we are,” said Sue Hammell, New Democrat MLA for Surrey-
Green Timbers. “They want solutions from their government, not
rhetoric. They want to find solutions to the problems we are seeing in our
neighbourhoods, and move towards a safer, healthier future.”
In a related poll conducted by Insights West, half of Surrey residents (51
per cent) listed crime as the top issue facing their city. And when asked
about the factors contributing to crime, 69 per cent of those surveyed
pointed to insufficient policing, 89 per cent to addictions and mental
health issues, 75 per cent cited an inadequate court system, and 69 per cent
suggested poverty and inequality.
The poll also asked people in Surrey about their personal safety, and
found that 48 per cent of those surveyed said they feel unsafe walking in
their own neighbourhood after dark, and 53 per cent are worried about
becoming a victim of crime.
“What this shows, loud and clear, is that crime is a serious concern
for people in Surrey, and that they want their government to make it a
priority,” said Bruce Ralston, New Democrat MLA for Surrey-Whalley.
The poll commissioned by the Opposition Caucus surveyed 501 adults
residing in the City of Surrey between Feb. 14 and Feb. 20. It has a margin
of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.