Immediate action needed to address public disorder: Mayor’s survey

Mayor Sam Sullivan today released the results of an informal web poll which reveals that Vancouverites are seeking immediate action to reverse the trend of increasing public disorder on the streets of the City.

The Mayor’s survey, which was posted from September 22 through November 1, 2006, at, drew a total of 2,469 responses. Of those, 1,909 citizens took time to provide detailed comments and ideas to combat disorderly conduct such as aggressive panhandling, open drug use, littering, and noise infractions.

“The people of Vancouver have spoken clearly: they feel that our City has a serious public disorder problem and that action must be taken,” Mayor Sullivan said. “This web survey and a series of community roundtable meetings I have conducted over the past six months have strengthened my resolve to find long-term, sustainable solutions that will restore order and civility on our streets.”

Among the survey findings:

  • 84% of respondents feel that public disorder problems in Vancouver have become worse over the past 5 years;
  • 81% are very concerned that Vancouver is losing its international reputation; and,
  • 67% feel that City Council must take immediate action to address the problem.

When asked which public disorder problems they are concerned about, citizens responded that their top concerns are:

  • Aggressive panhandling (83.35% said it was a concern)
  • Open drug use in public places (79.63% said it was a concern)
  • Sleeping/camping in public parks or on beaches (70.68% said it was a concern)
  • Excessive garbage on streets and in alleyways (66.83% said it was a concern)
  • Public urination/defecation (62.29% said it was a concern)
  • Littering (55.85% said it was a concern)

Working with Councillor Kim Capri, a trained criminologist with more than 20 years of experience including as Executive Director of the BC Crime Prevention Association, Mayor Sullivan is developing a comprehensive action plan to address public disorder in the City of Vancouver, which will be announced in the coming days.
In addition to the web survey, the Mayor and Councillor Capri have met with more than 75 community leaders, service agencies and senior government representatives over the past six months to discuss ideas for improving public order.

Backgrounder: Mayor’s Survey on Public Disorder