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2015 COMMUNITY OPINION SURVEY (OCTOBER 22, 2015)

2015 COMMUNITY OPINION SURVEY (OCTOBER 22, 2015) DPM

DPM

Niagara Police Services Board

Niagara Police Services Board
Consulting
Consulting

External Consultation 2015 Community Opinion Survey

1

BACKGROUND

The provision of police services is legislated in Ontario by the Police Services Act. Within Section 31 of the Police Services Act, the Police Services Board is overall responsible for the “…adequate and effective police services in the municipality…”

Adequacy and effectiveness of police services is prescribed in Ontario Regulation 3/99. As per Section 30 of this Regulation, every Police Services Board is required to prepare a Business Plan at least once every three years. One of the parameters in preparing the Business Plan is for the Board to address quantitative and qualitative performance objectives and indicators related to community satisfaction with police services (O. Reg. 3/99 Section 30.(2)(b)(ii)). Furthermore, every Board shall consult with its municipal council, and the school boards, community organizations and groups, businesses and members of the public in the municipality it serves during the development of its business plan (O. Reg. 3/99 Section 32.(2)).

The 2015 Community Opinion Survey provides the Niagara Police Services Board with compliance to the above legislated requirements.

Survey provides the Niagara Police Services Board with compliance to the above legislated requirements. DPM Consulting
Survey provides the Niagara Police Services Board with compliance to the above legislated requirements. DPM Consulting

DPM Consulting

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External Consultation 2015 Community Opinion Survey

2

METHODOLOGY

The 2015 Community Opinion Survey is based in two parts:

1. An on-line public survey accessible to members of the public in the municipality (Region of Niagara).

2. Interviews with community leaders representing municipalities, school boards, community organizations and groups, businesses, and emergency service leaders.

On-line survey questions were developed based on two parameters:

A review of similar surveys utilized at other police services (Edmonton, Halton, North Bay, Ottawa, Peterborough, Regina, Waterloo, Windsor and Winnipeg); and

An assessment of current police issues in the public forum (such as budget, street checks, body cameras and communication centres).

The on-line survey was made available to members of the public via a survey host that features:

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) A protocol developed for transmitting private documents or information via the Internet. SSL creates a secure connection between a client and a server, encrypting sensitive information being transmitted through the web page;

Data protection, validated by Norton and TRUSTe;

Administrative, physical and technical safeguards consistent with HIPAA requirements; and

One response per computer.

For added protection and validity of the survey, all IP addresses were reviewed and assessed to prevent multiple access from the same computer (thus possibly from the same individual). This parameter was publically referenced in printed media advertisement. Validity tests were performed to assess the accumulated data.

To encourage participation to the survey, the following parameters were implemented:

i. Media release distributed to local media outlets announcing the launch and purpose of the survey;

ii. Niagara Regional Police Service notified social media users of the survey via Twitter and Facebook;

iii. Electronic banner advertisement to local on-line media outlets implemented throughout survey timeframe;

iv. Print advertisement implemented in regional newspapers; and

v. Police Services Board Chair conducted various media interviews promoting survey participation.

An opportunity was provided for members of the public to request a hard copy of the survey. In total, seven requests were received and six were returned via the postage paid envelope that was provided. The responses were entered into the database manually.

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3

The on-line survey for members of the public was made available from August 17, 2015 and closed September 28, 2015.

Related to the interviews with community leaders, the following representatives were directly invited to participate:

a. Local Municipal Mayors and the Regional Chair;

b. School Boards;

c. Academic Institutions;

d. Niagara Parks Commission;

e. Niagara Housing;

f. Niagara Safety Village;

g. Niagara Health System;

h. Chambers of Commerce; and

i. Emergency Service Leaders (Fire and Paramedic Chiefs)

Twenty-four (24) interviews were completed.

Chiefs) Twenty-four (24) interviews were completed. Questions utilized for the interviews were similar to the

Questions utilized for the interviews were similar to the questions developed for the on-line survey; however the participants were encouraged to provide additional commentary.

SIGNIFICANCE

Based on the sample size of the survey (2,089 respondents) and the population estimate (Source: Canada Census), the confidence interval (also known as the margin of error) is +/- 2.14 at a 95% confidence level.

the confidence interval (also known as the margin of error) is +/- 2.14 at a 95%
the confidence interval (also known as the margin of error) is +/- 2.14 at a 95%

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4

HIGHLIGHTS

of the 2015 Community Opinion Consultation

Overall, in the past three years, the majority of residents identified having the highest contact with NRPS At a Community Event or Festival (56.7%) followed by Casual Talk with Patrol (48.1%).

The majority of Niagara Region citizens either “Strongly Agree” or “Agree” with ALL of the listed characteristics. Overall, the approval rating of attributes ranges from 84.2% (Professional) to 68.9% (Fair and Unbiased).

The top three characteristics reported the highest among seniors was Professional, Respectful and Approachable; whereas the top three characteristics reported highest among younger adults were Are Visible, Professional and Well Trained.

The top three characteristics reported in higher populated municipalities was Professional, Are Visible and Well Trained; whereas the top three characteristics reported in smaller populated municipalities were Professional, Knowledgeable and Respectful.

Drug Related Crime was identified as the highest rank crime perceived by the community, followed by Drinking and Driving and thereafter Aggressive or Careless Driving.

Seniors ranked Residential Break-In among the top three crimes, whereas Young Adults ranked Family Violence in the top three crimes. Further, Young Adults ranked Theft from Crimes higher in perceived crime when compared to Seniors.

Female community members ranked Family Violence among the top three crimes, whereas Young Adults ranked Residential Break-In within the top three crimes.

Among all respondents, 73.2% selected a level of agreement that there is adequate general patrol across the Region of Niagara, with 26.8% with a level of disagreement.

Related to adequate direct patrol in areas that experience high frequency of crime, levels of agreement increased to 79.2%, with 20.8% indicating a level of disagreement.

Pertaining to patrol to promote and address safe driving, 77.1% selected a level of agreement and 22.9 selected a level of disagreement.

Overall, citizens have a 74.5% service satisfaction of Niagara Regional Police Service. Levels of satisfaction were higher among females (77.2%) and citizens from larger populated municipalities (76.7%).

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10.8 % survey participants identified themselves as a victim of crime.

5

From the citizens who identified themselves as a victim of crime, 34.5% indicated they were offered victim services

Of those offered victim services, 67% rated the services as About Right or better.

From all respondents, 65.2% indicated that the police services budget was either High or Excessively High, and, 26.2% indicated the budget was Just About Right.

However, of those who responded either High or Excessively High, only 56.7% would support a decrease in the budget to decrease the level of police services.

When citizens were asked about alternative service delivery (such as transferring some police functions to civilians or private security firms to lowers costs, 49% responded Yes, with 38% responding No and 13% indicated they Don’t Know.

In regards to street checks of community members even when they are not suspected of a crime, the results illustrated that the community is polarized on the issue, with 42.4% responding Yes, 49.5% responded No and 8.2% responding Don’t Know.

A majority of citizens responded Yes (52.5%) with lower percentage responding No (16.7%) or Don’t Know (7.8%), when asked about police wearing body cameras.

22.3% of respondents selected Other (23.0%) and providing focused commentary. The analysis of the commentary generally supported the use of body cameras, however were primary concerned about the costs. Others commented on that body cameras provided protection to both citizens and the police.

58.4% responded Yes to an integrated emergency communication centre, with 30.2% responding No and 11.4% responded Don’t Know.

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External Consultation 2015 Community Opinion Survey

6

DEMOGRAPHICS

of the On-Line Survey Respondents

40.0

35.0

30.0

25.0

20.0

15.0

10.0

5.0

0.0

Respondents 40.0 35.0 30.0 25.0 20.0 15.0 10.0 5.0 0.0 Survey Responses (%) 2011 Census Data
Respondents 40.0 35.0 30.0 25.0 20.0 15.0 10.0 5.0 0.0 Survey Responses (%) 2011 Census Data
Respondents 40.0 35.0 30.0 25.0 20.0 15.0 10.0 5.0 0.0 Survey Responses (%) 2011 Census Data

Survey Responses (%)Respondents 40.0 35.0 30.0 25.0 20.0 15.0 10.0 5.0 0.0 2011 Census Data (%) When compared

2011 Census Data (%)35.0 30.0 25.0 20.0 15.0 10.0 5.0 0.0 Survey Responses (%) When compared to the 2011

When compared to the 2011 Census data, the on-line survey respondents closely reflected the distribution of the population within the Region of Niagara. Thereby the data can be analyzed with results reported

by municipality.

3.80%

3.50%

13.90% 15.30% 18.70% 22.60% 22.20%
13.90%
15.30%
18.70%
22.60%
22.20%

3.80% 3.50% 13.90% 15.30% 18.70% 22.60% 22.20% 18 25 35 45 55 65 75 to 24

3.80% 3.50% 13.90% 15.30% 18.70% 22.60% 22.20% 18 25 35 45 55 65 75 to 24

3.80% 3.50% 13.90% 15.30% 18.70% 22.60% 22.20% 18 25 35 45 55 65 75 to 24

3.80% 3.50% 13.90% 15.30% 18.70% 22.60% 22.20% 18 25 35 45 55 65 75 to 24

3.80% 3.50% 13.90% 15.30% 18.70% 22.60% 22.20% 18 25 35 45 55 65 75 to 24

3.80% 3.50% 13.90% 15.30% 18.70% 22.60% 22.20% 18 25 35 45 55 65 75 to 24

3.80% 3.50% 13.90% 15.30% 18.70% 22.60% 22.20% 18 25 35 45 55 65 75 to 24

18

25

35

45

55

65

75

to 24

to 34

to 44

to 54

to 64

to 74

or older

The age distribution was categorized into three parameters:

Young Adults (18 to 34) = 17.4% Adults (35 to 64) = 63.5% Seniors (65 plus) = 19.1%

The data can be analyzed by age distribution with the results reported by the age categories.

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External Consultation 2015 Community Opinion Survey

7

CONTACT

with Police Service Members

Survey respondents were asked what type of contact they had with members of the Niagara Region Police Service (NRPS) over the past three years. Citizens were to respond Yes or No to ten (10) categories. (As a reference, options were similar to Halton Region and Edmonton surveys).

Overall, in the past three years, the majority of residents identified having the highest contact with NRPS At a Community Event or Festival (56.7%) followed by Casual Talk with Patrol (48.1%). In the open commentary, respondents also identified other contactcategories, such as:

Reporting a Crime and Crime Stoppers

Neighbour or Friend

Work Related Contact

 

Yes

No

At a Community Event or Festival

56.77%

43.23%

Casual Talk with Patrol

48.16%

51.84%

Asking for Information

43.06%

56.94%

At a RIDE or Seatbelt Program

40.54%

59.46%

At a Public Presentation

36.32%

63.68%

Stopped for a Traffic Violation

34.28%

65.72%

Fire or Medical Emergency

32.27%

67.73%

Witness to a Crime

26.56%

73.44%

Victim of a Violent Crime

7.18%

92.82%

Charged with a Criminal Offence

2.05%

97.95%

Victim of a Violent Crime 7.18% 92.82% Charged with a Criminal Offence 2.05% 97.95% DPM Consulting

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External Consultation 2015 Community Opinion Survey

8

CHARACTERISTICS

of Police Service Members

Respondents were asked if they Strongly Agree, Agree, Neutral, Disagree or Don’t Know related to 13 specific characteristics of NRPS members. (As a comparator, the Likert Scale ratings were similar to the 2014 Waterloo Regional Police Survey, and, the characteristics were derived from categories similar to Halton, North Bay, and Waterloo and Windsor Region surveys).

The majority of Niagara Region citizens either “Strongly Agree” or “Agree” with ALL of the listed characteristics.

approval rating of attributes ranges from 84.2% (Professional) to 68.9% (Fair and Unbiased). As a comparator, and similar to the 2014 Waterloo Region Police Service survey, citizens overall rated “Professional” the highest and “Fair and Unbiased” the lowest.

Overall, the

Highest Rating 84.2% Lowest Rating 68.9%
Highest
Rating
84.2%
Lowest
Rating
68.9%

Overall

Seniors (65 and older)

Younger Adults (18 to 34 years)

Larger Urban

Smaller Rural

Populations

Populations

Professional

Professional

Are Visible

Professional

Professional

Well Trained

Respectful

Professional

Are Visible

Knowledgeable

Knowledgeable

Approachable

Well Trained

Well Trained

Respectful

Respectful

Well Trained

Knowledgeable

Respectful

Well Trained

Approachable

Knowledgeable

Respectful

Approachable

Approachable

Are Visible

Courteous

Effective in Job

Knowledgeable

Are Visible

Effective in Job

Effective in Job

Representative

Effective in Job

Courteous

Courteous

Caring

Approachable

Courteous

Effective in Job

Representative

Trustworthy

Courteous

Representative

Caring

Caring

Honest

Caring

Caring

Trustworthy

Trustworthy

Are Visible

Trustworthy

Trustworthy

Honest

Honest

Representative

Honest

Honest

Representative

Fair/Unbiased

Fair/Unbiased

Fair/Unbiased

Fair/Unbiased

Fair/Unbiased

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External Consultation 2015 Community Opinion Survey

9

CHARACTERISTICS

of Police Service Members

Community opinion of members of the Niagara Region Police Service (NRPS) can be influenced by a number of factors, such as; newspaper headlines, television reports, relationships (family, friend and neighbour), recent contacts with NRPS, tax bills, and trending police issues (examples: taser guns or conducted electrical weapons, street checks, and body cameras). Within this climate, which can more often than not be perceived as negative, the majority of Niagara Region citizens responded that they either Strongly Agree or Agree with all of the 13 listed characteristics.

The data results were then filtered to compare the general population with both senior citizens (65 years of age and older) and younger adults (from ages 18 to 24). Most noticeably, the top three characteristics reported the highest among seniors was Professional, Respectful and Approachable, whereas the top three characteristics reported highest among younger adults was Are Visible, Professional and Well Trained. The characteristic of Are Visible received the highest rating among younger adults when compared to seniors who rated the characteristic significantly lower. The characteristic of Approachable received a higher rating among seniors when compared to younger adults who rated characteristic lower.

The results were also filtered to compare the larger populated municipalities (St. Catharines, Niagara Falls and Welland) with smaller populated municipalities (Fort Erie, Grimsby, Lincoln, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Pelham, Port Colborne, Thorold, Wainfleet, and West Lincoln). Most noticeably, the top three characteristics reported the higher populated municipalities was Professional, Are Visible and Well Trained whereas the top three characteristics reported highest smaller populated municipalities was Professional, Knowledgeable and Respectful. The characteristic of Are Visible received a higher rating among higher populated municipalities when compared to smaller populated municipalities.

a higher rating among higher populated municipalities when compared to smaller populated municipalities. DPM Consulting

DPM Consulting

DPM Consulting

External Consultation 2015 Community Opinion Survey

10

CRIME

Perception of Community

A review of other Ontario police surveys identified approximately 20 types of crime categories. For the NPSB 2015 Community Opinion Survey, respondents were asked to rank 10 of the 20 types of crime, with one (1) being the first highest perceived crime, two (2) the second highest perceived crime, and so on.

Overall

Drug Related Crime

Drinking and Driving

Aggressive or Careless Driving

Residential Break-In

Family Violence

Motor Vehicle Collisions

Theft from Cars

Armed Robberies

Assault

Fraud

Drug Related Crime was identified as the highest rank crime perceived by the community, followed by Drinking and Driving and thereafter Aggressive or Careless Driving.

Seniors ranked Residential Break-In among the top three crimes, whereas Young Adults ranked Family Violence in the top three crimes. Further, Young Adults ranked Theft from Crimes higher in perceived crime when compared to Seniors.

Female community members ranked Family Violence among the top three crimes, whereas Young Adults ranked Residential Break-In within the top three crimes.

Seniors

Young Adults

Larger Populated Areas

Smaller Populated Areas

Female

Male

Drug Related Crime

Drug Related Crime

Drug Related Crime

Drug Related Crime

Drug Related Crime

Drug Related Crime

Drinking and Driving

Drinking and Driving

Drinking and Driving

Drinking and Driving

Drinking and Driving

Residential Break-In

Residential Break-In

Family Violence

Aggressive Driving

Residential Break-In

Family Violence

Aggressive Driving

Aggressive Driving

Theft from Cars

Residential Break-In

Aggressive Driving

Aggressive Driving

Drinking and Driving

Family Violence

Aggressive Driving

Family Violence

Family Violence

Residential Break-In

Family Violence

Motor Vehicle Collisions

Residential Break-In

Motor Vehicle Collisions

Motor Vehicle Collisions

Motor Vehicle Collisions

Theft from Cars

Armed Robberies

Assault

Theft from Cars

Theft from Cars

Theft from Cars

Motor Vehicle Collisions

Theft from Cars

Armed Robberies

Fraud

Assault

Fraud

Armed Robberies

Fraud

Motor Vehicle Collisions

Armed Robberies

Armed Robberies

Assault

Assault

Assault

Prostitution

Assault

Other

Armed Robberies

Other

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11

PATROL

Overall

General Patrol -7.63 -19.18 12.92 31.93 28.34 Direct Patrol -1.95 -18.83 10.68 32.55 35.99 Safe
General Patrol
-7.63
-19.18
12.92
31.93
28.34
Direct
Patrol
-1.95
-18.83
10.68
32.55
35.99
Safe Driving
Safe Driving Patrol
-6.19
-16.76
12.5
31.42
33.13
-20

-40

0

 

20

40

60

80

 

Safe Driving Patrol %

   

Direct Patrol %

 

General Patrol %

Strongly Agree

 

12.5

 

10.68

12.92

Agree

 

31.42

 

32.55

31.93

Somewhat Agree

 

33.13

 

35.99

28.34

Disagree

 

-16.76

 

-18.83

 

-19.18

Strongly Disagree

 

-6.19

 

-1.95

-7.63

 
  Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree  

Strongly Agree

  Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree  

Agree

  Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree  

Somewhat Agree

  Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree  

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

Strongly Disagree

 

100

Among all respondents, 73.2% selected a level of agreement that there is adequate general patrol across the Region of Niagara, with 26.8% with a level of disagreement. Related to adequate direct patrol in areas that experience high frequency of crime, levels of agreement increased to 79.2%, with 20.8% indicating a level of disagreement.

Pertaining to patrol to promote and address safe driving, 77.1% selected a level of agreement and 22.9 selected a level of disagreement.

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External Consultation 2015 Community Opinion Survey

12

PATROL

By Municipality

Citizens were asked to identify their level of agreement or disagreement related to adequacy of general patrol, direct patrol to areas which experience high frequencies of crime, and patrol to promote and address safe driving. The results were then categorized by local municipality.

Municipality

Type Of Patrol

Strongly

Agree

Somewhat

Overall

Disagree

Strongly

Overall

 

Agree

Agree

Agreement

Disagree

Disagree

 

General Patrol

12.15

25.23

32.71

70.09

21.5

8.41

29.91

Fort Erie

Direct Patrol

9.62

24.04

42.31

75.97

22.12

1.92

24.04

Safe Drive Patrol

12.96

25.93

28.7

67.59

22.22

10.19

32.41

 

General Patrol

11.86

35.59

27.12

74.57

16.95

8.47

25.42

Grimsby

Direct Patrol

6.78

28.82

37.29

72.89

27.12

0

27.12

Safe Drive Patrol

10.17

33.9

20.34

64.41

25.43

10.17

35.6

 

General Patrol

10

44.29

27.14

81.43

12.86

5.71

18.57

Lincoln

Direct Patrol

7.25

50.72

30.43

88.4

11.59

0

11.59

Safe Drive Patrol

8.7

34.78

37.68

81.16

10.14

8.7

18.84

 

General Patrol

13.99

30.32

34.4

78.71

16.03

5.25

21.28

Niagara Falls

Direct Patrol

8.8

33.72

36.66

79.18

18.77

2.05

20.82

Safe Drive Patrol

14.93

26.45

30.23

71.61

20.93

7.56

28.49

 

General Patrol

8.7

21.74

36.23

66.67

26.09

7.25

33.34

Niagara-on-the-Lake

Direct Patrol

9.09

27.27

45.45

81.81

18.18

0

18.18

Safe Drive Patrol

14.71

33.92

19.12

67.75

26.47

5.88

32.35

 

General Patrol

20.73

26.93

35.37

83.03

13.41

3.66

17.07

Pelham

Direct Patrol

17.07

42.68

26.61

86.36

13.41

1.22

14.63

Safe Drive Patrol

20.73

41.46

18.29

80.48

14.63

4.88

19.51

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External Consultation 2015 Community Opinion Survey

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Municipality

Type Of Patrol

Strongly

Agree

Somewhat

Overall

Disagree

Strongly

Overall

 

Agree

Agree

Agreement

Disagree

Disagree

 

General Patrol

10.58

29.81

35.58

75.97

17.31

6.73

24.04

Port Colborne

Direct Patrol

10.58

25.96

41.35

77.89

21.15

0.96

22.11

Safe Drive Patrol

15.38

25.96

34.62

75.96

15.38

8.65

24.03

 

General Patrol

11.91

32.95

33.44

78.3

16.14

5.66

21.8

St. Catharines

Direct Patrol

11.09

34.45

34.62

80.16

16.97

2.86

19.83

Safe Drive Patrol

10.67

33.67

26.33

70.67

21.5

7.83

29.33

 

General Patrol

8.93

42.86

21.43

73.22

21.43

5.36

26.79

Thorold

Direct Patrol

8.93

35.71

37.5

82.14

16.07

1.79

17.86

Safe Drive Patrol

8.93

44.64

30.36

83.93

7.14

8.93

16.07

 

General Patrol

12.5

37.5

16.67

66.67

20.83

12.5

33.33

Wainfleet

Direct Patrol

12.5

33.33

33.33

79.16

16.67

4.17

20.84

Safe Drive Patrol

16.67

29.17

29.17

75.01

12.5

12.5

25

 

General Patrol

12.98

27.88

36.06

76.92

14.9

8.17

23.07

Welland

Direct Patrol

14.01

24.15

34.3

72.46

25.6

1.93

27.53

Safe Drive Patrol

14.9

32.69

31.73

79.32

14.9

5.77

20.67

 

General Patrol

11.11

22.22

44.44

77.77

16.67

5.56

22.23

West Lincoln

Direct Patrol

6.25

25

50

81.25

18.75

0

18.75

Safe Drive Patrol

0

17.65

47.06

64.71

29.41

5.88

35.29

In assessing the views of citizens categorized by local municipal residency, general patrol was perceived to be adequate in the 80 th percentile from residents in Lincoln (88.4%) and Pelham (86.4%), and in comparison, in the 60 th percentile from residents in Niagara- on-the-Lake (66.7%) and Wainfleet (66.7%).

When assessing direct patrol, adequacy in the 80 th percentile was received from residents in Lincoln (88.4%), Niagara-on-the-Lake (81.8%), Pelham (86.4%), St. Catharines (80.2%), Thorold (82.1%) and West Lincoln (81.2%). There were no responses in the 60 th percentile.

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14

For patrol to promote and address safe driving, adequacy in the 80 th percentile were received from residents in Lincoln (81.2%), Pelham (80.5%), and Thorold (83.9%). Responses in the 60 th percentile were received from residents in Fort Erie (67.6%), Grimsby (64.4%), Niagara-on-the-Lake (67.8%), and West Lincoln (64.7%).

SERVICE SATISFACTION

of Niagara Regional Police Service

Overall, citizens have a 74.5% service satisfaction of Niagara Regional Police Service. Levels of satisfaction were higher among females (77.2%) and citizens from larger populated municipalities (76.7%).

Overall Seniors Young Adults Larger Populated Municipalities Smaller Populated Municipalities Female Male -40 -20
Overall
Seniors
Young Adults
Larger Populated Municipalities
Smaller Populated Municipalities
Female
Male
-40
-20
0
20
40
60
80
100
Smaller
Larger
Male
Female
Populated
Populated
Young Adults
Seniors
Overall
Municipalities
Municipalities
Very Satisfied
16.57
19.16
16.84
17.62
20.86
16.76
17.38
Satisfied
30.3
34.88
32.63
31.58
32.52
28.38
31.98
More Satisfied than Dissatisfied
26.32
23.2
25.95
24.96
23.31
28.65
25.17
Dissatisfied
-18.68
-16.62
-16.39
-18.58
-15.34
-22.43
-17.84
Very Dissatisfied
-8.12
-6.14
-8.19
-7.26
-7.98
-3.78
-7.63

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External Consultation 2015 Community Opinion Survey

15

VICTIM ASSISTANCE SERVICES

Survey participants were asked if they have been a victim of a violent crime, where “violent crime” was defined as a crime involving the use of force or threat against the victim (Source: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistic).

10.8 10.8 % survey participants identified themselves as a victim of crime 89.2
10.8
10.8 % survey participants
identified themselves as a
victim of crime
89.2

From the citizens who identified themselves as a victim of crime, they were subsequently asked if they were offered victim services.

34.5% Yes

63.4% No

4.1% Don’t Know

For those who accepted victim services, 67% rated the services as About Right or better.
For those who accepted victim services, 67% rated the services as About Right or
better.
35.00
30.00
25.00
20.00
32.22
15.00
10.00
20.00
18.89
14.44
14.44
5.00
0.00
Very Good
Good
About Right
Poor
Very Poor
32.22 15.00 10.00 20.00 18.89 14.44 14.44 5.00 0.00 Very Good Good About Right Poor Very

DPM Consulting

DPM Consulting

External Consultation 2015 Community Opinion Survey

16

BUDGET

Survey respondents were provided with basic information, such as the service responded to 114,107 calls and issued approximate 18,000 criminal charges (Source: Niagara Region Police Services); a cost of approximately $133,895,738 representing 45.6 % of the regional municipal tax levy (Source: Region of Niagara); and total

cost per capita comparison of several Ontario police services (Source: Ontario Municipal Benchmarking Initiative). Thereafter, citizens were asked of their opinion of the budget. From all respondents, 65.2% indicated that the police services budget was either High or Excessively High, and, 26.2% indicated the budget was Just About Right.

40.00 35.00 30.00 25.00 20.00 15.00 10.00 5.00 0.00 Excessively High Just About Low Excessively
40.00
35.00
30.00
25.00
20.00
15.00
10.00
5.00
0.00
Excessively
High
Just About
Low
Excessively
High
Reight
Low

However, of those who responded either High or Excessively High, only 56.7% would support a decrease in the budget to decrease the level of police services. The survey question provided an opportunity for citizens to provide commentary.

An analysis of the commentary resulted in identifying similar views, such as:

Given the uniqueness of Niagara (such as a high tourism area, international border, and peninsula), additional provincial and federal funding support is needed. We should seek federal government support for our tourism, border and coastal responsibilities.” “Perhaps some of the policing costs related to the marine and border realities ought to be better subsidized by the provincial and federal governments.”

While maintaining current level of services, efficiencies should be sought in order to reduce the budget. Adding money without considering where to harness real efficiencies that have limited impact on service quality should be an ongoing routine activity throughout the organization.

Arbitration The fact that an arbitrator can award wage increases for Police officers based on wages in areas such as the GTA is ridiculous and outrageous.”

The arbitration system needs to be changed drastically.”

DPM Consulting

DPM Consulting

External Consultation 2015 Community Opinion Survey

17

BUDGET

Don't Know 12.93% Yes No 48.98% 38.1%
Don't
Know
12.93%
Yes
No
48.98%
38.1%

Citizens were asked “Do you believe, in order to lower costs, some current police functions should be transferred to civilians or private security firms?

From the results, 49% responded Yes, with 38% responding No and 13% indicated they Don’t Know.

The

survey

question

provided

an

opportunity

for

citizens

to

provide

commentary.

 

Trying to lower costs of policing by outsourcing to private security firms is a bad idea. Police work, court security and prisoner transportation require specialized training by specialized personnel so there is some form of continuity.

“Yes I think that if some of the above are transferred to other viable parties, then it could cut costs, and have the police more available for more serious situations.”

For those that responded Don’t Know there was a common request for further research in alternative service delivery to ensure there is not a loss in confidentiality, quality of service, and safety.

I believe we should continue to investigate solutions in a spirit of cooperation that will provide a level of police services we all expect.”

Depends on many factors, would not want to put civilians at risk and if certain functions were transferred to others, would want to maintain the same level of safety and performance.”

Would depend entirely if the functions could be done responsibly with no danger to the provider or the public.”

DPM Consulting

DPM Consulting

External Consultation 2015 Community Opinion Survey

18

STREET CHECKS (Carding)

Citizens were asked “Should Niagara Regional Police Service conduct Street Checks of community members even when they are not suspected of a crime?” The results illustrate that the community is polarized on this issue with 42.4% responding Yes, 49.5% responded No and 8.2% responding Don’t Know.

Of those who responded Yes to street checks, many of the comments supporting the practice were related to community safety.

As long as personal respect and proper procedures are followed, I support it. If you have nothing to hide from Police, why is it a problem? Street level information is a very informative tool in keeping communities safe.”

Street checks are necessary and valuable to help our communities safe and secure!

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

49.49 42.35 8.17 Yes No Don't Know
49.49
42.35
8.17
Yes
No
Don't Know

For citizens who responded No to street checks, comments related to privacy and rights were cited.

No matter how they try to justify these stops, they are invasions of privacy to citizens. They must be stopped.”

"Carding" is a unconstitutional civil rights violation. It should not be done without cause in Canada.

In regards to those who responded Don’t Know, comments were focused on the need for more research and study, including proper training and policy.

I think there is a place for carding in order that they have knowledge of certain parts of cities. There needs to be policy and training developed as guides.”

I think that the procedures and policies need to be completed before carding.

DPM Consulting

DPM Consulting

External Consultation 2015 Community Opinion Survey

19

BODY CAMERAS

Survey respondents were asked, “Do you believe that police constables at Niagara Regional Police Service should wear body cameras?” A majority of citizens responded Yes (52.5%) with a lower percentage responding No (16.7%) or Don’t Know (7.8%).

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

52.52 22.96 16.74 7.78 Yes No Don't Know Other
52.52
22.96
16.74
7.78
Yes
No
Don't Know
Other

Interestingly, 22.3% of respondents selected Other. The analysis of the commentary generally supported the use of body cameras, however were concerned about the costs. From the commentary, approximately 22% indicated a concern related to increased “costs” and/or the “budget”.

Won't this be another cost added to the budget?”

The budget is already stretched. The cost for cameras & training etc. for that, could be used elsewhere.

“…another extreme expense applied to the budget, beside camera cost there would be data charges and data storage charges, repairs, legislation and policy as to when, how and why they are to be worn and by whom.”

From the commentary, supporting the use of body cameras, 14% of these respondents included “protection” of the police constable, the citizen, or both.

It would protect the officer if allegations of misconduct are brought forth.”

To protect the citizensrights.”

There is protection here for both police and the public. The perceived concerns are far outweighed by the potential benefits.”

DPM Consulting

DPM Consulting

External Consultation 2015 Community Opinion Survey

20

COMMUNICATIONS

In regards to communication centres of emergency services, citizens were asked “Do you believe that Niagara Region should partner with local municipalities and the police service to consolidate the four emergency centres into a single integrated communication centre?

58.4

%

30.2

%

11.4

%

Yes, the Region of Niagara, the twelve local municipalities and the Niagara Regional Police Service should partner together to develop an integrated emergency communication centre.

No, police, fire and ambulance communication centres are distinct from one another and should not be integrated into a single communication centre.

Don’t Know

An opportunity for additional commentary was provided. Of those who provided comments, many cited “costanalysis and the need for more “information” in order to provide an informed decision.

Yes, however need more information, not just cost savings - what impact would consolidation have on the entire Region?”

Others suggested a need to assess impact on “response times”.

If the partnership will improve response times and benefit the people who are calling and need help, to get help faster, yes; if the integration would lead to longer response times and people who need help being put in unsafe situations as a result then No they should be kept separate.”

Would depend on the perceived impact on response times and service levels.”

DPM Consulting

DPM Consulting

External Consultation 2015 Community Opinion Survey

21

COMMENTS

From the Community

Of the survey respondents, 42% took the opportunity to provide additional comments. An analysis of the text identified the following themes:

The words “police service” was most often used (20.4%) in the commentary. The majority of the context was to describe the Niagara Regional Police Services with complimentary descriptions.

Very respected police service.

I am very satisfied with the service provided by NRPS.

The second most frequent words used were “police officers” (17.2%). The context followed several sub-themes:

Several comments offer opinion of the difficulty of police officers as an occupation. “…I am awed by the fact that they willingly choose to put themselves in the front line of everything that can be imagined on a daily basis.” “Regarding police services everywhere: A current social atmosphere of distrust and even hatred towards police officers hampers the abilities of police to interact with people.”

Comments related to police officers receiving wages while under suspension. “…Disagree with the suspension with pay regulations and feel there needs to be a change…” “…Stop with suspension of officers with pay while being investigated or charged with an offence.”

A number of comments related to police officers using cell phones and texting. Cell Phones The new distracted driver law, should also apply to Police Officers.” ”

I have witnessed on numerous occasions - police officers texting while driving

In addition to analyzing common words, frequently cited subjects were also assessed. The following subject themes were identified:

Stop (7.1%) – Mostly related to failure obey “stop” signs Please don't forget about everyday pedestrians who are endangered by car drivers who do not stop at stop signs, do not signal and do not even slow down when turning right at a red light.”

Driving (6.3%) Many comments focused on distracted driving I feel there is a huge problem with texting and driving. It's not safe to walk anywhere.”

Street (4.5%) Comments regarding streets need to be safer with increased patrol to address speeding. They should patrol more for speeding cars on the City streets.”

DPM Consulting

DPM Consulting

External Consultation 2015 Community Opinion Survey

22

COMMMUNITY LEADERS

CHARACTERISTICS and CRIME

Overall

Community Leaders

Professional

Respectful

Well Trained

Honest

Knowledgeable

Approachable

Respectful

Trustworthy

Approachable

Professional

Are Visible

Knowledgeable

Effective in Job

Caring

Courteous

Are Visible

Representative

Are Well Trained

Caring

Fair and Unbiased

Trustworthy

Effective in Job

Honest

Courteous

Fair/Unbiased

Representative

Highest Rating Lowest Rating
Highest
Rating
Lowest
Rating

When compared to survey respondents, community leaders ranked characteristics Respectful, Honest, and Approachable higher.

Overall

Community Leaders

Drug Related Crime

Drug Related Crime

Drinking and Driving

Drinking and Driving

Aggressive or Careless Driving

Residential Break-In

Residential Break-In

Family Violence

Family Violence

Assault

Motor Vehicle Collisions

Motor Vehicle Collisions

Theft from Cars

Business Break-In

Armed Robberies

Fraud

Assault

Aggressive or Careless Driving

Fraud

Theft from Cars

Community Leaders perceived the top ten crimes similar to the overall on-line, However, community leaders identified Business Break-In crime within the top ten and not Armed Robberies.

DPM Consulting

DPM Consulting

External Consultation 2015 Community Opinion Survey

23

PATROL

70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 General Patrol Direct Patrol Road Safety Patrol
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
General Patrol
Direct Patrol
Road Safety Patrol

Stronly Agree50 40 30 20 10 0 General Patrol Direct Patrol Road Safety Patrol Agree Somewhat Agree

Agree30 20 10 0 General Patrol Direct Patrol Road Safety Patrol Stronly Agree Somewhat Agree Disagree

Somewhat Agree50 40 30 20 10 0 General Patrol Direct Patrol Road Safety Patrol Stronly Agree Agree

Disagree40 30 20 10 0 General Patrol Direct Patrol Road Safety Patrol Stronly Agree Agree Somewhat

Strongly Disagree60 50 40 30 20 10 0 General Patrol Direct Patrol Road Safety Patrol Stronly Agree

The majority of the Community Leaders indicated a level of agreement with patrol. However, approximately 20% disagreed there was adequate “general” and “road safety” patrol.

SERVICE SATISFACTION

Overall on-Line Survey Community Leaders -40 -20 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Very
Overall on-Line Survey
Community Leaders
-40
-20
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
Very Satisfied
Satisfied
More Satisfied than Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
Very Dissatisfied

Community leaders provided 95% level of service “satisfaction”.

DPM Consulting

DPM Consulting

External Consultation 2015 Community Opinion Survey

24

BUDGET

Community leaders were asked for their opinion relative to the police services budget. The results identified 50% indicating the budget was Just About Right, with 50% indicating the budget is High or Excessively High.

20 50 30 Exessively High High Just About Right
20
50
30
Exessively High
High
Just About Right

Approximately 27% of the community leaders referenced the international border, tourism and/or the peninsula (surrounded by water) as impacts to the budget

Bi-national security issues with the border have an effect on this.”

High compared to others…High population spread across a diverse landscape, tourism. border, water and great lakes need to be taken into account when looking at these numbers.”

Four community leaders indicated the budget was “escalating”

It's been escalating for years.”

The budget has been spiraling out of control for years needs to be lowered.”

Other community leaders supported the budget by offering positive comments

Given level of service, very efficient and effective at controlling budget.”

They know what they are doing, trust police oversight. International boarder responsibilities, tourism and visitors.”

When asked if they would support an increase, decrease or maintaining the current budget, the majority of the responses from community leaders did not select the options provided. The majority of community leaders expressed that efficiencies within the budget needs to be realized, thus funds can be re-allocated to maintain the current level of service or to increase the number of police officers on the road.

Current level of services with reduced cost.”

You can decrease the budget without lowering police services.”

Budget must decrease but service can increase. They are caught up in business not service.”

DPM Consulting

DPM Consulting

External Consultation 2015 Community Opinion Survey

25

STREET CHECKS

45 40 35 30 25 20 40 35 15 25 10 5 0 Yes No
45
40
35
30
25
20
40
35
15
25
10
5
0
Yes
No
Don't Know

The majority of community leaders interviewed (40%) stated they do not support street checks.

Never get beyond public that it is racist. Carding is overrated as a policing method…Disintegrating society in the sector.”

For those who indicated they Don’t Know, several responded the need for appropriate protocol.

There needs to be protocol to justify police actions if they do conduct street checks. Can't prevent a police officer from doing their job. Need to find the line between a police state and allowing police officers from doing their jobs.”

BODY CAMERAS

75% of community leaders support the use of body cameras. Comments included the need for transparency and protection for the public, the police and both.

Yes. There are lists of lawsuits and claims against police. Confrontation is in their job and some people are less then friendly.”

Good for police protection and accountability, dealing with violence and captures the officers surrounding.”

Protect officers and anyone they come in contact with. Good Surveillance. Expense would be justified…

COMMUNICATION CENTRES

With the exception of one response who expressed Don’t Know, all non-emergency community leaders responded Yes to the statement that there should be an integrated emergency communication centre. All community leaders interviewed from the emergency services sector responded No. One Fire Chief offered the following comment:

Dispatchers are not interchangeable. Communication is technology driven, departments can have aging technology that will be expensive to replace (or updated) with the rest of the region. Some municipalities cannot afford this…This will not save money in the

long run. How will IT (department) fit into this?

municipality) that owns towers and the proper communication equipment.

would be more beneficial to contract out the service to a third party (not the

It

DPM Consulting

DPM Consulting

External Consultation 2015 Community Opinion Survey

26

COMMENTS

Community leaders were offered the opportunity to provide open comments. The following comments were provided:

There is a need for increased federal funding to support police services. Funding pressures should not be solely placed on the municipal tax base.

The NRP has it resources stretched due to areas of tourism.”

Introduce police liaison committees in all communities.

Collective bargaining process is “broken” and “Police have unlimited ability to tax the public and that needs to be prevented.”

Some (municipalities) are over paying when they shouldn't”.

From community leaders representing school systems, there are “Good relations with NRP and special constables”, “Proud of the school resources officers. They are proactive in crime prevention with youth” and “School resources officers do an outstanding job, are proactive and reactive.”

The Police Services Board is taking good action in addressing concerns from citizens.and The Police Services Board faces tough challenges in a tough economic times.

Police need to stop acting as though they are untouchable. The budget is unjustifiable. All community leaders need to speak up.

Provide a reasonable service for the amount they cost the public.”

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DPM Consulting