Police officers in Canada’s largest city have their work cut out for them, as two recent polls show that Toronto residents are losing confidence in them.
According to a CBC poll released Wednesday morning – conducted by Angus Reid of 517 panelists over the age of 18 – 79 per cent of respondents said they agree that police are treated differently in courtrooms than average Toronto residents. Only six per cent disagreed with the statement.
And when asked what words best describe the Toronto Police Service, almost as many respondents labelled them corrupt (24 per cent) as trustworthy (29 per cent). Thirty per cent said they were above the law.
Only 54 per cent of respondents said they have confidence in our police officers.
When asked how much the panelists trust the Toronto Police Service, only 20 per cent said they completely trust our police force. The majority of respondents, 37 per cent, say they trust the TPS just a little. A full 25 per cent said they distrust or do not trust police officers at all.
According to a Forum Research poll conducted for the Toronto Star in the days following the verdict of James Forcillo, trust in Toronto’s police dropped from 78 per cent to 63 per cent. Thirty-seven per cent of the respondents in that survey said they trusted Toronto cops less than they did a year prior.
The polls come on the heels of two high-profile news events: Forcillo being found guilty of attempted murder in the shooting death of Sammy Yatim, and last week’s announcement that four Toronto cops had been charged with perjury and obstructing justice.
Another Toronto cop was charged on Jan. 27 under the Police Services Act for firing multiple bullets into a stopped car during an arrest in the Distillery District last September.