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Public confidence in policing increases 20 percentage points during lockdown

Public confidence in policing was up by over 20 percentage points during the first quarter of 2020-21, a new report shows.

A survey of over 22,000 people found that 63% of people agree or strongly agree that they had confidence in their local police.

That’s an increase of 21 percentage points compared to the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2018-19 (42%) and against a previous peak of 49% in the 2012-13 SCJS.

The analysis is outlined in Police Scotland’s 2020-21 Quarter 1 Performance Report which is published today (Friday, 21 August) and also details almost 60,000 individual engagements officers had with the public in relation to new coronavirus rules.

The figures show that even where officers required people to disperse, the vast majority co-operated after having rules explained to them or on instruction to do so.

In just 6.5% of cases, officers were required to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice, use reasonable force or arrest an individual.

Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor, will present the report to the Scottish Police Authority’s Policing Performance Committee on Wednesday, 26 August.

DCC Taylor said: “The first quarter of 2020-21 covered an extraordinary period for Scotland and, indeed, the world.

“Highly restrictive measures on freedoms of movement and association were introduced, almost overnight, as, collectively, we all sought to combat the spread of coronavirus.

“Officers and staff discharged their duties with courtesy, compassion and common sense to help the people of Scotland who, in turn, showed overwhelming support for their police service.

“We will continue to value the bond of trust which policing and the public have forged together and which has been further strengthened during this unprecedented period.”

The report also demonstrates recorded crime reduced significantly across a number of categories between 1 April and 30 June, although fraud and public nuisance calls increased substantially.

Proactive work contributed to a significant increase in reported crimes of online child sexual while domestic crime and the potential for suppressed vulnerability remain a significant concern and priority for policing.

DCC Taylor said: “While decreases in violent and acquisitive crime, as well as a reduction in road casualties, are all to be welcomed, this report covers a relatively short period of time and care must be taken to avoid assumptions around trends.

“Operational demand has increased significantly in recent weeks and is returning to what we would normally expect to see.

“Sadly, home is not a safe place for everyone and we have taken proactive steps to identify those at risk and give support to those who need our help. Policing will continue to operate in public, private and virtual spaces to keep people safe.”

The Quarter 1 2020-21 Performance Report can be read here and Management Information can be found here.


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