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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.

Police Scotland ‘Your Police’ Intersectional Analysis

Confidence in local policing is lowest within demographic groups from Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) Quintiles 1 and 2 (where 1 is the most deprived and 5 is least deprived).

Analysis undertaken by Police Scotland found that those less likely to express
confidence include:
individuals who identify as non-binary or other gender;
people who identify as transgender;
people who identify as gay;
people with physical and mental health conditions;
victims and witnesses of crime; and
people from urban areas compared to rural and remote.

These groups were more concerned about crime and felt less safe. During 2020-21 they were also most likely to think the police should take tougher action to ensure public compliance with the COVID-19 restrictions.

Enhancing confidence within these groups requires police understanding of culture and lived experiences to ensure communicate and engagement is appropriate and supportive. This includes keeping communities informed about how local police are taking their concerns seriously and responding to crimes and other incidents that specifically affect diverse communities. It also requires Police Scotland to visibly show and make clear that the service is here for people who are often marginalised.

Analysis of open-ended responses in the Your Police survey show that children and younger people would like Police Scotland to offer advice and education on the reporting process and support available to them if they are a victim or witness of crime. People who are LGBTQ+ express a desire for meaningful community engagement and action to prevent hate crime. For people with disabilities, there is a need for accessible contact and engagement options, including the expanded use of BSL, and responding to incidents which
disproportionately affect marginalised communities.

Work is on-going to improve how we listen and respond to the needs of seldom-heard communities so that we can effectively engage with all communities in the most appropriate and supportive ways.

Whilst public confidence often fluctuates due to wider factors, it is clear from consistent sampling of the local policing User Experience Survey that individuals’ experience of policing has remained consistent and high. 

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