majority opposed to carding
Few find Chief Saunders credible on the issue
TORONTO, MAY 6th,
2015 - In a
random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 822 Toronto
voters, 6-in-10 oppose the practice of “carding” (60%), and just fewer than
half this proportion support it (29%). One tenth have no opinion (11%).
Approval of carding is common to Gen X (45 to 54 - 41%), the wealthy ($80K to
$100K - 42%), supporters of both Doug Ford (39%) and Mayor Tory (36%) in the
last election, but not Olivia Chow voters (14%), in North York (36%) and among
voters with a non-British European background (38%). Opposition to the practice
is characteristic of the youngest (77%), mid income groups ($60K to $80K -
73%), Olivia Chow voters (79%), in the downtown (76%), South Asians (72% - caution:
small base size) and black voters (81% - caution: small base size).
Few find Chief Saunders credible on carding
3-in-10 voters find Chief of Police Mark Saunders’ view that ending carding
will lead to increased crime is credible (31%), where more than 4-in-10 find it
not credible (43%). One quarter have no opinion on this (26%).
One half think carding ineffective at preventing crime
half of Toronto voters say carding is ineffective at preventing crime (52%),
and just one quarter think it effective for this purpose (27%). Those who think
carding is effective tend to be the same group that favours the practice.
Plurality agrees blacks get carded more
more voters agree black Torontonians are the focus of too much police
enforcement (41%), while just more than one third disagree with this (36%). As
many as a quarter don’t share an opinion (24%). Among black voters, three
quarters agree (74% - caution: small base size).
Even split on whether blacks disproportionately responsible for
more voters agree blacks are disproportionately responsible for crime in the
city (39%) than disagree this is the case (34%). One quarter don’t express an
opinion (27%). Among black voters, fewer than one quarter agree (22% - caution:
small base size) while one half disagree (51% - caution: small base size).
Two thirds see lack of trust between police and black community
thirds of voters agree there is a lack of trust between the Toronto police and
the black community in the city (64%), while just 1-in-7 disagrees (14%). One
quarter don’t have an opinion (22%). Those who agree are most likely to be the
oldest (72%), mid income groups ($60K to $80K - 79%), the wealthiest ($100K to
$250K - 70%), downtown (80%), among Chow voters (76%), among those who identify
their ethnic background as Canadian or British (72% each) or black (77% -
caution: small base size).
Better communications seen to be answer to lack of trust
asked to select from a list of possible solutions to the lack of trust between
Toronto police and the black community, those who see this as a problem are
most apt to choose “better communications with community” (24%), followed by
“sensitivity training for all officers” (22%) and “more foot patrols in at-risk
areas” (21%). Other solutions less likely to be selected include ending carding
(11%), hiring more black officers (8%) or assigning officers to protect at-risk
buildings (4%). Among black voters, preferred solutions are the same.
One quarter claim to have been carded by Toronto police
fewer than one quarter of Toronto voters claim they have been stopped by
Toronto police and asked for their personal information even though they were
not committing an offence (22%), and this is especially the case among the
youngest and males (27% each), the least wealthy (less than $20K - 28%, $20K to
$40K - 35%), in Scarborough (28%) and among Doug Ford voters (33%), among those
who disapprove of John Tory (28%), black voters (49% - caution: small base
size) and, surprisingly, those who support carding (30%), but not those who
oppose it (21%).
"It’s clear Torontonians don’t
like the idea of carding and they don’t think it works and they don’t believe
their new police chief when he says it’s necessary. More serious though, is the
overall lack of trust perceived between the black community and the police
force. When the entire population, not the aggrieved group only, sees
sensitivity training and better communication as necessary to improve
relations, you know there’s a problem. And carding is not just a problem for
the black community only, when we have nearly a quarter of Torontonians
claiming to have experienced it," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne
Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum
Research. He can be reached at email@example.com or at (416)