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The worrying statistics that show declining trust in the police in the UK

Jimmy Nsubuga
·3-min read
Police officers on duty
YouGov tracker polls show declining trust in the police in the UK. (Getty)

Britons have lost confidence in the police to deal with crime and most people now think officers do not take sexual assault seriously enough, the latest data shows.

A YouGov tracker poll has revealed trust in police “to deal with crime in your local area” has dropped over the past month.

The proportion of people who do not have “very much confidence” in the force rose from 31% on 1 March to 34% on 29 March, while those with a “fair amount of confidence” fell from 46% to 43%.

People with “no confidence at all” in officers rose from 7% to 9% and those with “a lot of confidence” fell from 7% to 6%.

How much confidence Brits have in police to deal with crime? You Gove poll. (YouGov)
How people have answered the question: 'How much confidence do Brits have in police to deal with crime?' (YouGov Poll)

The new polling was collected following the death of Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive who went missing after walking home from a friend’s flat in London on 3 March.

Her remains were discovered in an area of woodland in Ashford in Kent a week later.

Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens, 48, was charged with her kidnap and murder.

London in particular has seen a very marked change in police confidence since 1 March.

Londoners with a “fair amount of confidence” in police fell from 47% to 32% by 29 March and those with “not very much confidence” rose from 26% to 41%.

There was also a drop in the capital for “a lot of confidence” from 9% to 4%.

A separate YouGov tracker poll asking if police take sexual assault seriously enough also did not reflect well on police.

The proportion of people who thought authorities did not treat the issue seriously enough rose significantly in the last six months from 54% in October to 68% on 22 March.

A further 19% thought the police treated sexual assaults “with the right level of seriousness”, down from 29% in October.

Mistrust in police regarding sexual assault cases saw a similar rise in both men (from 51% to 61%) and women (57% to 69%).

Read more: Women are sharing what men can do to help them feel safer

Does the police take sexual assault seriously enough? (YouGov)
How people have answered the question: 'Does the police take sexual assault seriously enough?' (YouGov Poll)

Following Ms Everard’s disappearance, women spoke about their anger over how unsafe they felt walking the streets and took part in protests across the country to raise awareness around the issue.

A vigil for Ms Everard in Clapham was attended by hundreds who defied requests from the police and original organiser Reclaim These Streets to stay at home.

There were clashes throughout the evening between people and police, and London mayor Sadiq Khan said the police response was "at times neither appropriate nor proportionate".

Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick faced calls to resign but a report from the police watchdog found officers were not heavy-handed and said they remained "calm and professional" throughout.

Read more: Hundreds gather in south London to pay tribute to Sarah Everard despite vigil being cancelled

Are police doing a good job? (YouGov)
How people have answered the question: 'Are police doing a good job?' (YouGov Poll)

Police have also been criticised over their handling of protests across the country against the government's Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which would give forces in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on non-violent protests.

In the past month, the proportion of people who think the police are doing a good job in general has fallen from 67% to 64%, while those who think they’re doing a bad job has risen from 23% to 28%.

In total, between 1627 and 1783 adults in the UK were surveyed for every YouGov tracker wave.

Watch: Reclaim These Streets organiser disappointed by report on policing