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Published: 09 March 2023

Public Confidence in Policing - Public Briefing - July 2022

Keywords : Public Confidence

Report Summary

A Public Briefing on confidence in policing. Published in July 2022.

Confidence can be impacted by external events

Research carried out by Police Scotland shows public perceptions and confidence can be impacted by external factors that are not always within the control of the service. Public confidence in policing during the pandemic (2020-21) was affected by changes to COVID-19 rates of transmission locally and nationally; local lockdowns (Protection Level 4) and the national lockdown in January 2021.

National and international events raised by the public regarding police legitimacy have included George Floyd’s death in police custody and subsequent Black Lives Matter movement, misogyny and violence against women and girls following the murder of Sarah Everard, Rhona Malone tribunal, and other publicised police

The top three drivers of confidence are consistent across population groups and locations, as found from this qualitative analysis. These drivers are interdependent and apply to responsive contact, community policing, events and protests:

Visibility and accessibility - presence in local areas in providing reassurance;

Values and behaviours - how we ‘show up’ and demonstrate fairness, respect and integrity; and

Community engagement – staying connected and keeping communities informed.

The open-ended text analysis carried out within the service links these drivers with factors such as making people feel safe and providing reassurance; accessibility and availability of police if needed; and, crime prevention and protection.

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