Most Britons Think Police Have Lost Control of the Streets

Most Britons think criminals have no fear of the law as two thirds say they haven’t seen an officer on their street in a year amid soaring crime levels

Rebecca Camber — Mail Online July 16, 2018

Rates of violent offences have nearly doubled over the last two years to reach an all-time high. Click to enlarge

Rates of violent offences have nearly doubled over the last two years to reach an all-time high. Click to enlarge

The majority of Britons say the police have lost control of the streets, a shocking Daily Mail poll reveals today.

According to the exclusive survey, 57 per cent of people say officers have surrendered control of our neighbourhoods and criminals have no fear of being caught.

Amid skyrocketing levels of crime, the poll also reveals that a quarter of the population don’t feel safe at night in their local area.

And it suggests that one of the biggest factors behind the recent surge in lawlessness is a lack of ‘bobbies on the beat’. An incredible 60 per cent of the public say they haven’t seen a police officer in their street in the past year. The poll will increase pressure on ministers to get a grip on the violent crime wave engulfing the UK.

Rates of violence have soared to the worst level since records began, with offences more than doubling in the past four years across the country.

The survey of 2,000 adults was conducted for the Mail by ComRes and We The People. Among a series of worrying findings, it revealed:

In Half (51 per cent) of those surveyed who had been a victim of crime in the past two years said police did not even bother going to their home, and nearly a third of victims (30 per cent) were told to gather evidence themselves;

In Some 57 per cent of the public feel police no longer treat crimes such as burglary with the seriousness they deserve;

In Three in four Britons (76 per cent) want more bobbies on the beat;

In More than half (54 per cent) believe political correctness is partly to blame for the soaring murder rate in cities.

David Green, of the think-tank Civitas, said: ‘It is not surprising that 57 per cent of people think the police have lost control of our streets because criminals no longer fear being caught.

‘One of the primary causes has been the reduction in the number of police by about 20,000 officers since 2010.

‘Criminals are deterred when they see a regular police presence on the streets, but if they never see a uniform they become emboldened.’

The Police Federation of England and Wales’ operational policing lead, Simon Kempton, said the poll mirrored its own research.

‘Neighbourhood policing which was once a key feature of every community has all but vanished,’ he said. ‘Local bobbies who once would have been a familiar sight on the streets of the UK are being redeployed to emergency response teams to meet the increasing demand facing policing.

‘What is already clear is that greater investment – both monetary and in terms of personnel – is needed to put the boots back on the ground.’

Law and Disorder on the streets

Survey results. Click to enlarge

Two thirds (67 per cent) of Britons said political correctness and the fear of offending minorities was partly to blame for the problems encountered tackling child sex grooming gangs in major cities. It comes after a succession of convictions of Asian grooming gangs operating in towns including Rochdale, Rotherham, Oxford, Newcastle and Aylesbury.

The Mail poll found more than half (57 per cent) of those surveyed thought the police were scared of upsetting some parts of society, resulting in them being less effective at their job.

And when asked to compare public services, the poll found bin men were more highly rated than police officers, with approval ratings of 49 per cent compared to 43 per cent.

Association of Police and Crime Commissioners chairman David Lloyd said: ‘Police and crime commissioners recognise the challenges that policing is under, driven in part by changes in demand on the service, including increased complexity of crime.

‘We also understand the real concerns that people have and, in consultation with the public, are fully committed to ensuring that the resources we have are directed in the right way.’

National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for neighbourhood policing, Deputy Chief Constable Gavin Stephens, said police chiefs were reviewing neighbourhood policing, adding: ‘The latest inspection of police forces in England and Wales found a good level of service to the public.

‘But they also found forces were under strain as they deal with rising crime and demand that is more complex – and an unprecedented terror threat – with fewer officers.

‘We recognise how important and valuable neighbourhood policing teams are to local communities. With the College of Policing, we are carrying out the most fundamental review of neighbourhood policing in a decade so officers are equipped with tactics that are proven to work.’

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