Derbyshire Police Federation

Public support for policing during pandemic

29 October 2020

Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton has welcomed newly-released figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which show support for the way in which the police service has responded to the pandemic.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (TCSEW) figures show that, during August, 93 per cent of people surveyed were either very or fairly satisfied with the way the police in their area were responding to the Covid-19 outbreak.

And 69 per cent of people thought police in their local area were doing a good job at the moment. Only five per cent of people surveyed thought police were doing poorly or very poorly.

Tony said: “These results are pleasing to see and show how hard our members have been working with their communities to police the lockdown and to take people with them.

“They’re a vote of confidence from the public in how we have been doing our jobs during an unprecedented crisis andin exceptionally challenging conditions.”

The figures are part of a new raft of data released by the ONS, which also showed that crime dropped by seven per cent in the Derbyshire Force area in April, May and June as the country was put into lockdown.

Robberies dropped by 39 per cent, burglary was down 48 per cent and theft dropped by 58 per cent. Drugs offences rose by 22 per cent as a result of proactive operations and public order offences were up 52 per cent.

Tony said: “It’s always heartening to see crime falling and it’s clear the Covid-19 lockdown has had an impact. But it’s also testament to the hard work of officers and staff that we have been able to meet the demands of policing the pandemic.

“However, the figures are returning towards pre-lockdown levels and our members are as stretched as ever as they continue to enforce coronavirus restrictions while investigating, preventing and deterring crime.  We also still need clarity from Government around what is expected from the public and from the police in these ever changing times.

“It continues to be a challenging time for policing,” Tony added

John Apter, the national Federation chair, said: “The 12-month period this survey relates to was prior to and during the Covid lockdown, and it’s already been widely reported that crime fell during this time. Therefore, the results come as no surprise.

“Although crime fell during the pandemic the pressure on the police remained. Policing had to adapt to a situation unlike anything we had experienced before and continues to do so even as the national lockdown was lifted and crime returned to pre-lockdown levels. That pressure has increased with local lockdowns being rolled out and because of the additional challenges they bring to policing.

“It’s so good to see the vast majority of the public have positive views of the way my colleagues have responded to the pandemic. This is despite unfair coverage in certain sections of the media.

“Policing the pandemic has been incredibly challenging, and my colleagues have more than stepped up to do the best they could in the most difficult of circumstances. It’s clear the public have recognised this.

“Policing must retain this positive relationship with the community and work together. With multiple level restrictions coming into place in different parts of the country, the pandemic is certainly not over - and neither are the challenges to policing it has brought.”

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