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Torontonians think crime on the rise, 'carding' a bad policy: poll

The majority of Torontonians are supportive of the police but still mistakenly think crime is on the rise, according to a new poll from Mainstreet Technologies.

The poll of 2,320 respondents found 54 per cent of people believe crime is increasing, while 69 per cent support the work of the Toronto police force.

Torontonians are less supportive of the controversial police practice of “carding.” The poll found only 42 per cent of respondents approve of the practice.

Respondents were asked: “When police create a record in a police database of someone they’ve interacted with the practice is called ‘Carding’. Critics say this practice unfairly targets and detains minority groups while supporters say it is a necessary tool to ensure public safety. Do you approve or disapprove of ‘Carding’?”

Though there was one area of the city, Scarborough, that supported the practice, with 55 per cent of residents polled there, saying they strongly or somewhat approve of carding.

Police chief Bill Blair has temporarily suspended all carding as of Jan. 1 until new procedures are outlined at the February meeting of the Toronto Police Services Board.

A Toronto Star investigation found police were disproportionately targeting people of colour for carding.

Despite the perception that crime is on the rise, police statistics show the crime rate has been fairly steady over the past five years.

In both 2013 and 2014, Toronto had 57 homicides, while 2010 saw a spike, at 63 homicides, and 2011 was a low, with 51.

Shooting incidents were also down in 2014, with fewer than 200 for the first time in four years.

Mainstreet polled a random sample of 2,320 respondents by interactive voice response on Sunday. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.03 per cent.

Mobile users click here to see the full results from Mainstreet.

Mainstreet Technologies – January Toronto Issues Part 2

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