New poll finds 1 in 4 Canadians support cutting local police budgets

Social welfare before cops?

A new study from Angus Reid indicates that two-in-five Canadians believe systemic racism is a "serious problem" in our country.

RCMP have been under unprecedented scrutiny this year from coast to coast and questions of whether systemic racism exists within the ranks of Canadian policing are in the spotlight.

Nearly two-thirds, or 63 per cent of those polled, agree that systemic racism is a serious problem for the RCMP, and three-quarters, 73 per cent, say police in Canada interact inappropriately with non-white people at least some of the time.

The latest data from the Angus Reid Institute also finds that more than one-quarter, 27 per cent, say systemic racism is a serious problem in their own community.

The study shows that perspectives vary by racial background, generational and political differences. When it comes to policy, calls to simply reduce police department budgets are not widely supported, though structural change is desired by many. One-quarter say that police funding should be reduced where they live. This proportion rises to 38 per cent in Greater Toronto, and 36 per cent in Winnipeg. A firm majority, 63 per cent of Canadians across the country would rather see investment in social welfare strategies rather than increasing police presence in high crime areas.

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