8 Nov 2016
More than 40 per cent of people who have dealt with police in the last year said they were unhappy with the response they got, a survey has revealed.
Members of the public who came into contact with the force said they were more likely to have low confidence in the police than high, while two-thirds said they felt crime in their area was on the increase.
The findings were revealed in Police Scotland’s Your View Counts report, which asked the views of 16,000 people between April and September this year.
It also emphasises the importance of a police presence in local communities, with 71. 5 per cent of respondents saying they felt safe or reassured when they saw officers in their community.
The majority of people also said their preferred way of reporting a crime was direct to a police officer, at a police station, or on the phone, as opposed to through social media or the internet.
Despite the popularity of a police presence, it was revealed yesterday that the SNP is considering the future of 58 police buildings across the country as it seeks to reduce the number of stations.
Today’s report also shows people expect local officers to place anti-social behaviour, housebreaking and drugs at the top of their priority list.
And on a national level, the survey states, Police Scotland’s main focus should be on terrorism, national security and violent crime.
Scottish Conservative community safety spokesman Oliver Mundell said:
“This survey shows people seem to be losing confidence in the ability of Police Scotland to do its job in local communities.
“Officers work tremendously hard, and that hard work is appreciated by people who want to see more of them – not less – in their towns and cities.
“But that is being undermined by an SNP government which wants to reduce the visibility of officers and cut the number of places where people can actually go in and deal with the force.
“This survey isn’t a drop in the ocean – thousands of people have taken the time to fill it in.
“It should serve as a wake-up call to the Scottish Government to make sure Police Scotland is adequately equipped to meet the expectations and win the confidence of the people it is tasked with protecting.”
It was revealed yesterday the SNP is considering the future of 58 police buildings across Scotland: