The National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales has welcomed the results of a new survey which found the public perception of police during the coronavirus pandemic has remained largely positive.
John Apter responded to Office for National Statistics crime figures released today which revealed that between 90% and 92% of adults were satisfied with the way local police were responding to the pandemic.
Mr Apter said: “The twelve-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.”
The Crime Survey for England and Wales (TCSEW) figures found that more than two-thirds of adults gave police a positive rating for the work they were doing in their local area. Around half said they were doing a good job (between 49 per cent and 50 per cent) and one-fifth said they were doing an excellent job (between 20 per cent and 21 per cent).
Mr Apter continued: “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.”
- There were approximately 11.5 million offences in the last 12 months in England and Wales - similar to levels estimated from the face-to-face survey for England and Wales in recent years
- Total police recorded crime decreased by 4 per cent in England and Wales to approximately 5.8 million offences in the 12 months ending June 2020
- Police reported crime levels were relatively stable from July 2019 to March 2020 and the annual decrease was mainly driven by substantial falls during the April to June 2020 period, particularly in theft offences
- There were also falls in offences involving firearms (9 per cent decrease) and knives or sharp instruments (1 per cent decrease) across England and Wales
- Police recorded crime data showed a 3 per cent increase in violence against the person; this is the smallest annual increase since improvements to recording practices began to be implemented in 2014
- The overall number of homicides increased by 9 per cent; this figure includes the Grays lorry incident with 39 homicide victims (If this incident was excluded, homicide showed a 3 per cent increase overall)