Public confidence in police remains unchanged, despite questions posed by Everard murder and vigil

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
March 21, 2021, 6:00 PM UTC

Large majority of Britons continue to think the police are doing a good job

The abduction and murder of Sarah Everard rocked the country, leading to a national discussion on the way women are treated in society and the failure of police to protect them. The subsequent heavy-handed approach police took with those attending a vigil in Everard's memory in London caused futher controversy.

While you might have expected the weeks of negative news coverage to have taken its toll on the image of the police, new tracker data from YouGov suggests this has not been the case. In a poll conducted 16-17 March, 70% of Britons say the police are generally doing a good job, largely unchanged from the 67% it was on 1 March, prior to Everard’s death.

Likewise, 59% of Britons say they have a lot or a fair amount of confidence in the police to deal with crime in their local area – up slightly from 53% from the beginning of the month.

And when it comes to whether or not police take the issue of sexual assault seriously enough, again numbers are essentially unchanged. While half of Britons (51%) currently think the police aren’t taking the crime seriously enough, compared to 54% in our last survey in October 2020.

See the most recent results here, and full tracker results below:

Are the police doing a good job?

How much confidence Brits have in police to deal with crime

Does the police take sexual assault seriously enough?