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Tough year feeds confidence in cops

HM Inspector Matt Parr, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS)
HM Inspector Matt Parr, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS)

The cops’ rapid response to recent terrorist incidents has caused an increase in public confidence in them, according to a force watchdog.

Research released by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found 55 per cent of the 12,000 people surveyed this year said they would be ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ confident in the police dealing with a terrorist incident, up from 46 per cent in 2016.

The survey was carried out by Ipsos MORI into perceptions of crime, safety and local policing and was commissioned 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.”

He continued: “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.”

The main priorities for policing were identified by respondents as ‘responding in person to emergencies’ (67 per cent), ‘tackling crime of all types’ (63 per cent) and ‘countering terrorism and extremism’ (56 per cent).