1. The public perceives the job of the police as getting harder due to the changing nature of crime
There is a correlation between the challenges that policing leaders describe in delivering an effective, efficient and legitimate policing model, and the challenges the public see for policing. Three quarters of those surveyed said both that the police’s work is getting harder and that they have a higher volume of work.
2. The public expects the police to protect them and are clear about the role policing plays in society
The way that respondents described their views of the role of policing aligns with the police’s stated mission. When asked to describe what the police do respondents used words such as ‘protect’, ‘order’, ‘enforce’ and ‘prevent’. This positive endorsement should give police forces confidence that the public support them and are clear on their expectations.
3. The public has clear priorities for the police
Crimes of a more serious nature were consistently prioritised by respondents. While there were some minor variations in regional and demographic groups, the overall picture was clear that the police should prioritise efforts to investigate or prevent murder, terrorism, serious and organised crime and crimes of a sexual nature.
4. The public recognises police force structures, but are more supportive of national delivery options than leaders might think
The survey indicates that the public think more crimes are handled above the level of local police forces than is actually the case. This should encourage police leaders to consider a broader range of options for change; many of which we believe would be supported by the public.
5. The public is more concerned with outcomes than how policing is organised
Over two thirds of our survey said that they don’t care how the police are organised if the end result is lower crime and a safer community. The public could therefore potentially support ambitious changes to the police delivery model.