28 August 2020
Chairman on lockdown policing: It’s great to have public appreciation for our work
More than nine in ten people said they were satisfied with the way local police officers responded to lockdown, a new survey has found.
The Telephone-operated Crime Survey for England and Wales found that public perceptions of the police during April and May were largely positive, with 91% of adults satisfied with the way local police were responding.
More than two-thirds of adults gave the police a positive rating for the work they were doing in their local area, with just under half saying they were doing a good job (49%) and one-fifth saying they were doing an excellent job (20%).
Dave Stokes, Chairman of Leicestershire Police Federation, said: “This is a truly significant survey and powerful reassurance for officers and senior leaders. The policing strategy has been effective and public perception has been at the forefront of everything we have done.
“In our force, public engagement was key, which was completed at all levels including how officers responded to lockdown breaches.
“I do commend our officers who have worked tirelessly, working extended shifts. It is to those officers who I say, “this survey shows the public have appreciated everything we have done”
According to the survey was also general support for police powers that could be used to help deal with the outbreak, such as police issuing on-the-spot fines to people they find out of their homes without a good reason (72%) and police-enforced curfews during certain times of the day (67%).
The figures came from a report from the Office for National Statistics: “Coronavirus and crime in England and Wales - August 2020 Impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on crime and people’s perceptions of crime during the April and May 2020 period of national lockdown.”
The report, published this week, also found that police-recorded crime levels during the lockdown period were much lower than respective months in 2019, with 25% less crime in April 2020 and 20% less crime in May 2020.
Billy Gazard from the Office for National Statistics Centre for Crime and Justice said: “There was a significant fall in crime at the height of the coronavirus pandemic across England and Wales. This was driven by reductions in theft offences, particularly domestic burglary and theft of personal property. As this period coincided with the majority of people spending long periods at home during lockdown, it is not unexpected. These first findings from our new telephone-operated crime survey support police recorded data which also show lower than usual levels of offending in April and May.
“The exception was police recording of drug offences, which increased through April and May. This reflects proactive police activity as overall crime levels reduced.”
To see the report in full, go to: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/bulletins/coronavirusandcrimeinenglandandwales/august2020