MOST people in British Columbia agree with the main recommendations of the missing women inquiry into serial killer Robert Pickton, and a majority of respondents in Metro Vancouver support the idea of creating a unified police force in their area, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.
Inquiry Commissioner Wally Oppal outlined seven critical failures in the police investigations, and recommended establishing a Greater Vancouver regional police force—an idea that has been openly discussed in the past few years.
In Metro Vancouver, a majority of respondents (57%) support creating a single police force that would oversee the entire Lower Mainland. The idea is more popular among men (64%) and respondents aged 55 and over (67%).
In the online survey of a representative provincial sample of 806 British Columbian adults, more than half of respondents (57%) have followed the missing women inquiry “very closely” or “moderately closely.”
In his final report, Oppal issued 63 recommendations. Across the province, nine-in-ten British Columbians (91%) endorse the notion of improving police missing person policies and practices, and at least two thirds favour funding existing centres that provide emergency services to women in the sex trade, so the centres can stay open 24 hours a day (75%), enhancing public transit to northern B.C. communities, especially along Highway 16 (73%), and having more intensive and ongoing training for police on the history and current status of aboriginal people (68%).
In addition, three-in-five respondents (58%) agree with setting up a compensation fund for the children of missing women, and half (50%) support establishing a healing fund for the families of missing women.
Read last week’s RATTAN ROAR on the regional police issue: “Spineless Politicians Need To Show Some Guts And Go For A Regional Police Force”: