Crime is Surrey’s top election issue, new poll reveals
Published Tuesday, October 14, 2014 8:39AM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 14, 2014 8:10PM PDT
Crime and public safety are top of mind for Surrey voters heading into next month’s municipal elections, according to a newly released poll.
More than half (55 per cent) of respondents to an Insights West poll conducted earlier this month said crime is the most important issue the city is facing heading into the Nov. 15 election.
That’s a big leap from transportation, which came in a distant second at 14 per cent.
The results come after the high-profile murder of 17-year-old Serena Vermeersch, whose death in September was described by police as a “random crime of opportunity.” Raymond Caissie, the man accused of killing her, had previously served a 22-year sentence for sexual assault and was deemed a high risk to reoffend.
Though Surrey’s overall crime has dropped 11 per cent since 2009, it’s still outpacing the provincial average on identity fraud, property crime, break and enter and vehicle theft.
Surrey’s murder rate last year was also 205 per cent higher than the B.C. average.
The poll also shed new light on which way Surrey voters are leaning when it comes to electing a new mayor, after Dianne Watts announced she would not seek reelection in April.
Though nearly half of respondents say they’re still undecided on who they’ll vote for, Safe Surrey Coalition candidate Doug McCallum garnered the most support with 40 per cent of people saying they’d vote for him. Surrey First’s Linda Hepner and One Surrey’s Barinder Rasode trail McCallum at 32 and 21 per cent, respectively.
When asked which mayoral candidate would be best suited to tackle the crime issue, 58 per cent of those polled said they weren’t sure. Seventeen per cent said McCallum would be good for the job, and Rasode was close behind with 15 per cent of the vote.
Results of the poll were based on an online study conducted among 520 Surrey residents between Oct. 3-6. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.