Policing priorities

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
February 09, 2011, 2:16 AM GMT+0

The British public would like to see the police force focusing less on combatting traffic offences, and feels that the force gives too much priority to this area, our poll has found.

We gave over 2,300 Brits a list of common crimes dealt with by police, and asked them to judge how high a priority should be given to each. While predictably, the public felt tackling crimes such as burglary, vandalism, violent crime and sexual offences should be top priority, traffic offences were the only ones on our list that the majority deemed to be of low importance.

  • 40% felt dealing with traffic offences should be of high importance for the police, while 57% actively rated it as a low priority
  • While 97% saw violent crime as a priority, 96% sexual offences and mugging, 95% burglary, 85% car theft and 79% vandalism

Traffic transgressions?

Although the public believes that traffic offences should not be of great importance, belief that the police place a strong priority on such transgressions is high.

While the public’s perception of the most important crimes to tackle roughly tallies with their perception of what the police deem to be highly important, traffic offences are the only anomaly. This suggests that much of the public feels that the police put traffic crimes in almost as serious a category as that for sexual and violent offences, with the perceived priority attached by the police to traffic offences coming third only to violent crime (74%) and sexual crime (76%), at 62%.

See the survey details and full results here