Terrorist incidents see rise in confidence in the police

Public confidence in the police service has risen following the police response to recent terrorist incidents, according to the latest research carried out for Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

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Public views of policing in England and Wales 2017/18

The research was carried out by Ipsos MORI to gauge the public’s perceptions of crime, safety and local policing. The survey of over 12,000 people across England and Wales is similar to work carried out in 2015 and 2016 and was commissioned in order to inform HMICFRS’ inspections into police efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy – the PEEL reports.

HM Inspector Matt Parr said:

“After a year in which the emergency services have faced some of the most challenging incidents in recent times, it is encouraging to see that the public’s confidence in the police to protect them against terrorism has increased markedly, with over half of people saying they are confident in the police response.

“Research carried out for us by Ipsos MORI has demonstrated that the public still value their local police force. Most participants – around two-thirds – identified that the response of police to emergencies was the most vital service, and almost three-quarters of respondents thought the police was effective in doing this.

“The importance of visible local policing continues to resonate with the public – over eight in ten said that it was important to have a regular uniformed presence. But, the number of people who have not seen a police presence in the last year has risen from just over a third in 2015 to almost half this year.”

The main priorities for policing were identified by respondents as:

  • ‘responding in person to emergencies’ – 67 percent;
  • ‘tackling crime of all types’ – 63 percent; and
  • ‘countering terrorism and extremism’ – 56 percent.

The research also found that:

  • some 53 percent of people say they are satisfied with their police service, broadly the same as last year;
  • the proportion of people saying the service has got worse has increased to 25 percent this year, compared to 20 percent last year;
  • the majority of participants consider the police to carry most responsibility for the safety of victims of stalking and harassment, missing people and victims of domestic abuse; and
  • interest in what the police are doing locally has increased with four in five saying they are interested, compared with three in four last year.

The research demonstrated that 30 percent of people continue to be concerned with crime and anti-social behaviour in their local area in the last year, up from twenty five percent last year. However, although online crime is generally highlighted as a concern by the majority of participants (73 percent), this has dropped slightly from last year (82 percent).

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Public views of policing in England and Wales 2017/18


  1. There is no regional breakdown of these figures.
  2. On 19 July 2017, HMIC took on responsibility for fire & rescue service inspections and was renamed HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).
  3. HMICFRS is an independent inspectorate, inspecting policing and fire & rescue services in the public interest. It assesses and reports on the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces and fire & rescue services.
  4. HMICFRS inspects all 43 police forces in England and Wales together with other major policing and law enforcement bodies. It also inspects all 45 fire & rescue services in England.
  5. For further information, HMICFRS’ press office can be contacted from 8:30am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday on 020 3513 0600.
  6. HMICFRS’ out-of-hours press office line for urgent media enquiries is 07836 217729.