More than half of Londoners, 56 per cent, regard the Metropolitan Police as “fit for purpose” according to a new opinion poll compared with 29 per cent who do not and 14 per cent who don’t know.
And almost half of Londoners, 48 per cent, say they have either a “positive” (32 per cent) or “very positive” (16 per cent) view of the Metropolitan Police compared with 27 per cent who take a “negative” or “very negative” view. Another 22 per cent said their view was neither positive nor negative.
The poll by Redfield & Wilton Strategies of 1,100 Londoners over the age of 18 also found that 14 per cent of them said they have no trust at all in the Met when invited to rate their trust levels on a scale of zero to three, where three represented complete trust. The highest grading (three) was given by 22 per cent of Londoners, compared with 35 per cent who gave a grade two and 28 per cent who gave a grade one.
The ratings for trust in the criminal justice system as a whole were very similar, and also significantly higher than those in the media, social media, religious institutions and the UK government, which 23 per cent of Londoners said they had no trust in compared with 18 per cent who said they had total trust. The National Health Service and “the medical system” got the best trust scores overall, followed by high street banks.
Londoners appear more upbeat about their local police than the Met as a whole, with 37 per cent describing police officers in their area as generally “very” approachable and 43 per cent finding them “somewhat” approachable, although 19 per cent said they find them “not at all” approachable.
Redfield & Wilton also asked the panel how confident they were in the ability of the police to protect them from crime. In all, 47 per cent were either “confident” (31 per cent) or “very confident” (16 per cent) compared with 26 per cent who were either unconfident (15 per cent) or very unconfident (11 per cent) and 27 per cent who said they were neither confident or unconfident.
Londoners were asked two different questions about the accountability of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to politicians.
When asked to say which of three statements came closest to their view, a majority, 57 per cent, said the Commissioner should be accountable to “both the Home Secretary and the Mayor of London”, 23 per cent said the Commissioner should be accountable “only to the Home Secretary” and seven per cent “only to the Mayor of London”.
There was even stronger support for the Commissioner being accountable to both the Mayor and the Home Secretary when respondents were asked to what extent they favoured that current arrangement, with 70 per cent saying they either “support” (39 per cent) or “strongly support” it (31 per cent) and only eight per cent in all saying they oppose it. Sixteen per cent said they didn’t know.
The questions did not name the current Met Commissioner, Mayor of London or Home Secretary.
Redfield & Wilton’s wide-ranging London poll, whose questions had input from several On London writers and supporters, has also found that a majority of Londoners think Sadiq Khan has been a good Mayor for London and captured a variety of views about transport issues, included buses, the Ultra-Low Emission Zone and pedestrian priority.
Other themes and policy areas examined by the poll will be covered in separate articles.
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