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Your Police survey 2020/21

Published 1 July 2020

We Asked, You Said, We did. In April 2020 Police Scotland refreshed its local police survey to gather views of the public and communities of Scotland.

The survey is open throughout the year to help us identify and understand people’s opinion of their local police service, and any concerns about their safety and wellbeing in their area.

Your feedback makes sure that our approaches to policing, including how we’re managing the Coronavirus pandemic, are relevant and support the communities we serve.

You Said

We received a strong level of public confidence in Scottish policing and support for the approach to policing the pandemic in Scotland.

Confidence in policing has increased significantly, by 20 percentage points , compared to before the Coronavirus lockdown. Around two-thirds of people have confidence in their local police. Public confidence is high across all 13 local police divisions. A strong majority of responses from all divisions said that the police are friendly and approachable.

Public opinion on the approach to policing Coronavirus pandemic:

  • I fully support the approach taken by the Police – 47%
  • The Police should take tougher action to ensure public compliance – 36%
  • I support the approach taken by the Police but in some cases they are going too far – 11%
  • The approach taken by the Police in enforcing the lockdown is too heavy handed – 1%

The Police have no role in enforcing the lockdown, compliance should be a matter for individuals – 1% Overall support for tougher measures is similar to public survey data gathered by the Scottish Police Authority survey and Police Scotland’s User Experience survey (May 2020).

Feeling of safety has remained high since the lockdown with 89% of respondents stating they feel safe in their area. There is a statistically significant increase in respondents who feel ‘very safe’ and a decrease in those who ‘do not feel safe’ on the survey data, compared to data before Coronavirus.

While most (48%) say their concern about crime in their area since the lockdown has remained the same, it has decreased for 16% and increased for 26%. Concerns include: social distancing breaches, antisocial behaviour, speeding and dangerous driving, burglary, drug taking and dealing.

On what matters most to the public (from open-ended responses), constant themes include: visibility (local presence), police support in enforcing lockdown restrictions, communicating and engaging with the public, and understanding the needs of diverse communities during the crisis.

We Did

The survey launched on 9 April 2020 on Police Scotland’s Citizen Space platform. It is the largest of its kind in the UK to involve the public in a conversation about Policing and Coronavirus.

Over 20,000 responses, including approximately 51,000 free text responses, were received. These responses have been reviewed on a weekly basis and have helped us to respond to emerging issues and shape our approaches to policing in local areas.

Our response to this feedback has been to:

  • Enhance local police presence at identified key locations (including scenic areas, parks, urban areas), with a focus on patrolling during the evenings and after dark.
  • Increase engagement with over 20 organisations representing the interests of disabled people to make sure our information and messaging is accessible, and to ensure the Police are aware of the needs and challenges of disabled people (including physical, sensory and learning difficulties) in complying with social distancing and use of face masks.
  • Include the needs and circumstances of vulnerable people in daily Police officer briefings – to make sure the Police engage appropriately and bring empathy to interactions.
  • Provide information and advice on reporting Hate Crime to reassure all communities.
  • Offer discreet and safe ways for the public to speak to a police officer including video call.
  • Improve public information and advice at a national and local level on staying safe during Coronavirus that is in line with Government guidance.  Increase police patrols and information in areas where the public have raised concern about reckless driving and speeding.
  • Provide a British Sign Language (BSL) survey.

We are grateful to all who participated, and continue to participate in this survey.


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