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Published: 23 November 2022

SPA Biannual Public Opinion Polling - 11 October 2022

Report Summary

This report provides members of the Policing Performance Committee with an overview of SPA Biannual Public Opinion Polling Activity.  

To access the full document please open the PDF document above.

To view as accessible content please use the sections below. (Note that tables and some appendixes are not available as accessible content). 


The publication discussed was referenced in the meeting below

Policing Performance Committee - 11 October 2022

Date : 11 October 2022

Location : online

Confidence in Policing

When asked about confidence in policing on a 0-10 scale (where 0 is no confidence at all and 10 is complete confidence) over a range of aspects, including keeping your area safe, tackling crime and preventing crime, the average scores across all aspects were greater than 5. This indicates that on average the public continue to hold broadly positive views on policing in Scotland.

On the question of confidence in the policing of their local area the average score given by respondents was 6.1 and with regard to the overall policing of Scotland the average score was 6.0.

When asked about the ability of the police to keep their area safe 36% of respondents reported a high level of confidence, while 24% were confident in the police’s ability to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Confidence in the police in general, both at a local and national level, is lower among young people with 28% (local) and 29% (national) of those aged 16-34 reporting low confidence levels. Similar views emerge on trust, with 11% and 13% respectively, of those aged under 45 reporting they do not trust police in their local area or in Scotland ‘at all’.

Around 12% of respondents in rural areas report low trust and confidence in policing, in contrast to around 25% in urban areas. Trust and confidence in the police were highest in the Highland region and lowest in the Glasgow region.

47% of respondents felt that the police in their local area have been doing a ‘very good/somewhat good’ job of policing in general while around 40% said their local force was doing a good job of keeping the area safe. However, on both those measures less than 10% assessed their local service as doing a ‘very good’ job.

When asked about tackling anti-social behaviour 47% of respondents said their local police were doing a poor job, and 48% felt police performance was poor in bringing the community together.

Overall, male respondents, younger people, people of a lower social grade, and those living in more deprived areas were more likely to express the opinion that their local police service is performing unfavourably. People living in the least deprived areas of Scotland were more positive about policing (in relation to how good a job police in the local area are doing) than those in the most deprived areas.

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