More than half of ethnic minority Britons do not trust the Metropolitan Police

Tanya AbrahamResearch Director of Political and Social Research
April 20, 2023, 9:12 AM GMT+0

There is also little confidence in the force to address issues of racism, homophobia and misogyny

This Saturday marks the 30 year anniversary of the death of Stephen Lawrence, who was murdered in a racially motivated attack. The failure to convict anyone for Lawrence’s killing led to a public inquiry four years later that resulted in the Macpherson report, one of the most famous findings of which was that the Metropolitan police was institutionally racist.

Three decades later has seen the recent publication of the Casey Report, which has likewise shed light on the widespread failings of the Metropolitan Police, with key findings highlighting rife discrimination towards minority groups.

New YouGov research now uncovers the views of ethnic minority Britons and finds that more than half (56%) say they do not trust the Metropolitan Police, compared to just a third (32%) who do. These results are about the same as they were in a survey of all Britons in February, with 54% of the whole population distrusting the Met while 30% have some trust in them.

Among ethnic minority Londoners, the level of distrust is also similar, at 55%, although trust is slightly higher at 38% as they were slightly less likely to answer “don’t know” than people in other regions.

Previous YouGov research showed that half (51%) of all Londoners don’t trust the Metropolitan Police.

Ethnic minority Britons are divided regarding trust in the police in general (46% trust vs 46% distrust), as well as individual police officers (42% vs 42%).

Around half of Black Britons have some level of distrust towards the Metropolitan Police (57%), the police generally (52%), and the police force in their local region (53%), while 42% say they distrust individual police officers.

When it comes to police performance, almost half (47%) think the police in general are doing a bad job today. Just one in three (31%) see the police as doing a good job, whilst a fifth (22%) are unsure.

When asked how they think the police are doing today compared to 30 years ago, 38% think they are doing a worse job, while a quarter (25%) rate them as better. A further 12% believe they both are and were doing a bad job, while 7% think the police were doing a good job 30 years ago, and still are.

At least half of ethnic minority Britons think the Metropolitan Police are racist and misogynistic

Attitudes towards the Metropolitan Police are equally sobering with at least half of ethnic minority respondents saying they think it is institutionally racist (58%) and misogynistic (50%). Just one in five (20-22%) dispute these claims. These figures are very similar among ethnic minority Londoners, as well as among Black Britons.

The wider British public likewise believe the Met to be institutionally racist by a margin of two to one (48% vs 24%).

Overall, a further 44% think there is institutional homophobia in the Metropolitan Police.

Given this bleak outlook, there is not much faith in the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mark Rowley to effectively address these problems. Almost half (45%) say they have little (27%) to no confidence (18%) in the new commissioner, compared to 32% who do have a fair or great deal of confidence. Among Londoners, 36% have confidence, while 42% do not.

Half of Black Britons (51%) don’t possess much faith in Rowley to resolve the Met’s issues, including 25% who say they don’t have any confidence at all.

Please note, the questions on the ethnic minority trust in police included an extra question on local police forces, which was not present on the All Britons survey

See the full results here

Photo: Getty

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