Views on the police

The London Intelligence – Snapshot of Londoners – Spring 2022

Views on the police

A minority of Londoners have a positive view of the police

Just over one in three (35 per cent) Londoners said the police can be relied on to deal with minor crimes, and 38 per cent said the police provide good value for money. A similar proportion (36 per cent) said that the police would treat everyone fairly regardless of who they are, and 38 per cent said the police make fair decisions when dealing with local problems.

Londoners were more confident in the ability of the police to deal with major crimes – 50 per cent said the police can be relied on to deal with those.

53 per cent of Londoners thought the police would treat them with respect if they had contact with them. There were significant differences across groups: women, younger people, Black Londoners were less likely to agree than men, older and White Londoners. Conversely, 24 per cent of Muslim Londoners disagreed with this statement, compared to 17 per cent for the general population, and 11 per cent of LGBT+ Londoners strongly disagreed, compared to 6 per cent for the general population. Interestingly, the proportion who said that the police treat everyone fairly regardless of who they are didn’t vary across groups: it shows that most people think there is bias in the police force, even if they are not affected personally.

The survey came after successive reports of racism and misogyny in the Metropolitan Police service, and after the Independent Office for Police Conduct acknowledged a culture of racism and misogyny within the force.

A majority of Londoners wanted more visible police presence in their area. 53 per cent said they would like the police to patrol their area more often than they currently do, while 34 per cent wanted the level of patrol to remain the same and 6 per cent wanted fewer patrols. Again there are marked differences across age and ethnicity, which are consistent with views of the police described above: 71 per cent of people aged 55 and wanted more police patrols, but only 25 per cent of 16-24s did. 59 per cent of White Londoners wanted to see more police patrol their area, but only 46 per cent of non-White Londoners, and 42 per cent of Black Londoners, wanted this.