More than seven in ten people feel confident that their local police can keep them safe – while two thirds say they will feel unsafe if the Government makes further police cuts – a poll has shown.
And 66 per cent of people trust the police to tell the truth, according to a survey of more than 1,800 people carried out by Ipsos MORI.
63 per cent of people told the Police Federation of England and Wales commissioned poll that they would feel less safe if the Government continues to cut the funding it gives to police forces. 93% said the number of police officers was important in affecting how good a job the police service can do.
Funding from central government falls year on year, with the total settlement for the 43 forces in England and Wales in 2014-15 being announced at £8.5bn, compared with £8.7bn in 2013-14 and £9.7bn the year before. This amounts to a 20 per cent fall in real terms over five years.
And 55 per cent of respondents said their feelings of safety were influenced by the number of officers available to their local force, with 19 per cent unsure.
Officer numbers have fallen by 16,000 since 2010.
The survey, carried out in May this year, found that 90 per cent of the public felt safe in their local area with more than half – 56 per cent – saying keeping people safe was, for the most part, the police’s responsibility.
Exactly half – 50 per cent – said their local police were doing an ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ job, with 34 per cent describing their performance as ‘fair’.
More than three quarters (78 per cent) of the public said they would feel much less safe or less safe if it was agreed that the police stopped dealing with the full range of crimes due to budget cuts.
The respondents identified murder/violent crime; sexual crime/rape; burglary of people’s houses; and organised crime as the top four police priorities.
Date posted: June 19, 2014