Only 2% of people in BC trust polls
A story in today's Vancouver Sun screams the headline "Mistrust of police highest in BC, Poll finds". It goes on to say that "just 27% of B.C. residents have faith in the RCMP while only 28% have confidence in their municipal police forces."
Did this alleged journalist even read the poll? The question asked by the poll wasn't about trust in their police force per se. The question asked was "How much confidence do you have in the internal operations and leadership of these elements of the Canadian justice system?" and it listed Your Municipal Police Force and the RCMP as two of the options. Confidence in the internal operations and leadership of a police force is a far different question than faith and confidence in the police themselves.
Another error is that the journalist bought, hook, line and sinker, the figure of 28% for Municipal and 27% for RCMP without question. Makes a better headline I guess. Polls typically provide 4 or 5 possible responses (usually 5). So while "Complete Confidence" and "A lot of confidence" made up the 28 and 27% I wonder why the alleged journalist didn't ask the figures for the other options, like "Fairly Confident" or "Confident" as the third option would likely have been. Would that figure, added to the other versions of confidence have made the police look too good? Journalists are typically nosy people when it suits them. I guess it wasn't in his interest to ask questions this time?
BC will always have less faith in their police than the rest of the country. That's just a fact. Another fact is that BC has a higher proportion of activists and anti-authority/anti-establishment people living there than the rest of the country. It's the same all the way down the west coast to California. If anyone thinks the west coast will poll the same as the east coast you're living in the same world as this journalist.
Which brings me to polling. Canada, and more specifically the province of Alberta has recently seen how accurate (read inaccurate) polls can be when it came to a recent election. Totally wrong! The media story afterwards was "Wow, how did the pollsters get it so wrong, and we believed them!" After reading the article above I conducted a poll of my own. I contacted 50 people and asked them if they had complete confidence in polls, some confidence in polls or no confidence in polls. One person said they have complete confidence, ten people said they have some confidence, and thirty-nine said they have no confidence. Thus my headline above that only 2% of people in BC trust pollsters. I'm not fairly interpreting and reporting my poll results you say?
Exactly my point.
"The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence." Sir Robert Peel
"Public opinion is a compound of folly, weakness, prejudice, wrong feeling, right feeling, obstinacy, and newspaper paragraphs." Sir Robert Peel
This site is Copyright 2011-2012 ViewFromTheCop.com