Public support for policing of the pandemic


PUBLISHED 29 Oct 2020

IN News

Statistics published yesterday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show members of the public have appreciated police officers’ efforts during the pandemic, according to the chair of Cambridgeshire Police Federation.

Liz Groom was commenting as the Crime Survey for England and Wales (TCSEW) figures show that, during August, 93 per cent of people surveyed were either very or fairly satisfied with the way the police in their area were responding to the Covid-19 outbreak.

And 69 per cent of people thought police in their local area were doing a good job. Only five per cent of people surveyed during August thought police were doing poorly or very poorly.

Liz said: “Police officers have worked incredibly hard during the pandemic, not just carrying out their usual duties but also helping to uphold the Government restrictions in a bid to help stop the spread of Covid-19. All the time that they have been doing that they have also been putting their own health at risk.

“I am pleased that these statistics show the public is behind policing and appreciates officers’ efforts.”

The survey figures were part of the data released by the ONS which also showed that crime dropped by 18 per cent in the Cambridgeshire Force area in April, May and June as the country was put into lockdown when compared with the same period last year.

Robberies dropped by 29 per cent over the same period, burglary was down 41 per cent and theft dropped by 69 per cent. Drugs offences rose by 55 per cent as a result of proactive operations.

John Apter, the national Federation chair, said: “The 12-month period this survey relates to was prior to and during the Covid lockdown, and it’s already been widely reported that crime fell during this time. Therefore, the results come as no surprise.

“Although crime fell during the pandemic the pressure on the police remained. Policing had to adapt to a situation unlike anything we had experienced before and continues to do so even as the national lockdown was lifted and crime returned to pre-lockdown levels. That pressure has increased with local lockdowns being rolled out and because of the additional challenges they bring to policing.

“It’s so good to see the vast majority of the public have positive views of the way my colleagues have responded to the pandemic. This is despite unfair coverage in certain sections of the media.

“Policing the pandemic has been incredibly challenging, and my colleagues have more than stepped up to do the best they could in the most difficult of circumstances. It’s clear the public have recognised this.

“Policing must retain this positive relationship with the community and work together. With multiple level restrictions coming into place in different parts of the country, the pandemic is certainly not over – and neither are the challenges to policing it has brought.”