NEW COMRES/WE, THE PEOPLE SURVEY REVEALS MOST NOW BELIEVE FORCES HAVE LOST CONTROL OF THE STREETS
PC SENIOR OFFICERS AND LACK OF UNIFORMED PRESENCE UNDERMINING PUBLIC FAITH
The police face an increasing public crisis of confidence in their ability to keep people safe as a new ComRes survey for We, The People shows 57% of people believe they have lost control of the streets with less than half– 43% – of crime victims feeling they were given a satisfactory response by their force.
Meanwhile, more than three quarters (76%) of the adult population agree that they would like to see more officers on the street with more than half (57%) agreeing that ‘the police seem to be scared of upsetting some parts of society with the result that they are less effective at their job’. Among people 55 and over that figure rises to almost two thirds at 65%.
PC PCs are particularly irksome to public opinion with 67% agreeing that “political correctness and the fear of offending minorities is at least partly to blame for the problems encountered tackling grooming gangs in major UK cities”.
There is significant majority support for measures like controversial ‘stop and search’ powers, with 76% agreeing “that stopping and searching suspects is a useful tool to both deter and detect crime’.
Hate crime, however, is widely seen as a worthwhile pursuit with over half (59%) saying that ‘hate crime is a blight on our society and the police are right to try to tackle it.’
Detectives fail to get the right answers to public concern too with nearly two thirds of Britons who have been a victim of crime in the past two years (63%) saying that the crime has not been solved (culprit caught), 51% saying that an officer never came to their house and 66% claiming they were not asked to gather or submit any evidence. Unsurprisingly then, the police response to burglary also fails to meet with public approval with only 23% agreeing that ‘the police treat crimes such as burglary with the seriousness they deserve.’
The police force suffers badly in comparison with other public services coming second bottom in a table topped by the fire service (68% excellent/very good) and where refuse and recycling services (49%) are more highly regarded. Only road maintenance comes below policing (43%) with 12%.
There’s better news for the beat officer with most members of the public, 64% agreeing that; ‘ordinary police officers do an excellent job but it often seems that chief constables and their political masters make it harder for them to do their job effectively.’
“These findings present a start picture of declining public faith in the ability of the police to keep them safe, investigate crime and reflect public priorities. It’s clear too that while ordinary officers are seen as ‘on-side’ with the public, senior officers are seen as in thrall to political concerns hampering effective policing.
“What those senior officers – and the government figures they answer to – must grasp is that people want to see more officers, reassuring, preventing and investigating crime. The essence of the job and the one the public want not just to be done but be seen to be done.” Said a spokesman for We, The People.
We, the People is Britain’s grassroots campaigning group dedicated to giving a voice to ordinary members of the public. https://we-the-people.co.uk
Methodology: ComRes interviewed 2,001 British adults online between 4th and 5th July 2018. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults by age, gender, region and socio-economic grade. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
For full details of the results please visit: http://www.comresglobal.com/polls/we-the-people-crime-poll/