HMICFRS publishes detailed report on Public Perceptions of Policing in England and Wales 2018

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has published its detailed report entitled Public Perceptions of Policing in England and Wales 2018 in partnership with BMG Research. HMICFRS commissioned BMG Research to undertake a large-scale survey of the public to better understand its views about satisfaction with their local police force, perceptions of crime and police handling of crime, confidence in police, police visibility, contact with the police, the legitimacy of the police, engagement with the police and police responsibilities and priorities.

Overall, the report finds that satisfaction with local policing is relatively high. Over three-fifths of respondents (61%, in fact) say that they’re satisfied, while only 12% are dissatisfied. Confidence in the police service to deal effectively with a range of situations is high, with respondents most confident that the police would be effective in dealing with an emergency situation.

When asked to choose from a list of crimes police should prioritise respondents, were most likely to select dealing with terrorism/extremism (49%), addressing child sexual exploitation/abuse (46%) and violent crime (41%).

The research also found that more respondents would speak highly of the police (40%) than would be critical of them (18%). Around two-thirds of respondents agree that their local police force would treat them fairly if they needed to contact them and, although the majority of respondents have seen a police officer or a Police Community Support Officer on foot at least once in the past year, a sizeable proportion (36%) have not.

Confidence in policing

The National Police Chiefs’ Council’s lead on Local Policing, chief constable Simon Cole, said: “The public perceptions of policing statistics for 2018 reflect the hard work of many police officers, staff, special constables and volunteers. Satisfaction for local police services remains consistently high and the proportion of respondents who are satisfied has increased from 2017.”

Cole added: “Confidence in policing has increased, with more people speaking highly of their service than are critical of it. Although respondents acknowledge that crime and anti-social behaviour are increasing, they do feel that their local police officers are taking appropriate action to combat them.”

In conclusion, Cole stated: “It’s clear from the survey that police visibility remains very important to the public. All chief constables are working to ensure the service is as visible and approachable as possible despite reduced funding. Police and Crime Commissioners are currently consulting on their budget proposals for next year. Community engagement and trust in the police are central to the British policing model.”

*Access the report in full: Public Perceptions of Policing in England and Wales 2018

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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