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COMRES / ITV NEWS POLL: ONE IN FOUR DO NOT TRUST POLICE

 

A new poll by ComRes for ITV News released today reveals that twice as many Britons trust the police as say that they do not. Despite the police being faced with a number of controversies in recent months, when confronted with the statement “I trust the police”, half of Britons (50%) agree that they do, although a quarter disagree (26%).

 

However, following the court verdict that Mark Duggan was not killed illegally, the majority of Britons (57%) agree that the guidelines of police engagement should not allow for the use of deadly force by police officers unless the officer has personally seen the suspect holding a weapon. A quarter (24%) disagree.

 

·         Twice as many British people say that they trust the police (50%) as say that they do not trust them (26%).

·         Britons are more likely to agree (40%) than disagree (29%) that the police are quicker to use force on people they suspect of committing a crime than they were 10 years ago.

·         However, people are not necessarily opposed to this: 43% disagree that the police are too quick to use force on people they suspect of committing a crime, compared to one third (33%) who agree that police are too quick to use force on suspects.

·         Although just 31% of the whole British public think that people from ethnic minorities are unfairly targeted in the attention officers give them on the street, opinions are heavily divided by race:

o   Although just 28% of white Britons agree that this is the case, twice as many BME Britons (57%) think that people from ethnic minorities are unfairly targeted in the attention officers give them on the street.

·         The British public is split about whether the police are right to target people from ethnic minorities for investigation if the official statistics show that people from that ethnic minority are more likely to commit that type of crime: 40% agree with the idea, while 41% say they do not.

o   BME Britons (62%) are much more likely than white Britons (39%) to disagree that the police are right to do this.

Q: Do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?

 

 

Agree

Disagree

Don’t

know

Given the dangers that police face in their job, police should be treated with a degree of leniency for using force

57%

27%

17%

The guidelines of police engagement should not allow for the use of deadly force by police officers unless the officer has personally seen the suspect holding a weapon

57%

24%

20%

Police officers should treat all people in exactly the same manner whether or not those people have a criminal record

57%

29%

14%

I trust the police

50%

26%

24%

The police are right to target people from ethnic minorities for investigation if the official statistics show that people from that ethnic minority are more likely to commit that type of crime

40%

41%

19%

The police are more quick to use force on people they suspect of committing a crime than they were 10 years ago

40%

29%

31%

The police are too quick to use force on people they suspect of committing a crime

33%

43%

25%

People from ethnic minorities are unfairly targeted in the attention officers give them on the street

31%

44%

25%

Base: All respondents (n=2,079)

 

Ends

 

METHODOLOGY NOTE

 

ComRes interviewed 2,079 British adults online between 10th and 12th January 2014. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.