ALMOST one in four people do not trust South Yorkshire Police, according to a survey.
An independent survey of 4,400 people living in South Yorkshire, which was commissioned by Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings, found that 78 per cent of respondents had trust in South Yorkshire Police, while 22 per cent did not.
The Public Views and Experience of Policing and Criminal Justice in South Yorkshire survey was designed to "seek the views of the diverse and less-engaged communities" and "establish levels of trust and confidence among those communities", said a PCC spokeswoman.
Media reports and social media have the strongest influence on perceptions of SYP, according to the report.
It stated: "Social media is significantly more likely to influence under-25s, whilst legacy issues (Hillsborough, Orgreave, Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal) are more influential to over 35s.
"Legacy issues are significantly more likely to influence the perception of White British and Asian residents.
Over a fifth of those from Rotherham (24 per cent) and Sheffield (21 per cent) said their perception of SYP was influenced by "legacy issues".
A total of 38 per cent of people in Rotherham said they saw police officers or PSCOs at least once a week - the lowest figure in the county.
Less than half of people living Rotherham (49 per cent) were satisfied with the level of uniformed police presence in their area - again the lowest figure in the county.
Just over half of people in Rotherham (55 per cent) rated the police force as good or excellent which was the lowest approval rating in the county and around one in 10 residents have been a victim of crime in the last 12 months with the most likely occurrence being in Rotherham.
A total of 78 per cent of people were confident of receiving a good service and 76 per cent had confidence in the force compared to 72 per cent in England and Wales.
Almost nine out of ten (87 per cent) had support for South Yorkshire Police and eight out of ten (82 per cent) believed South Yorkshire Police had integrity.
The survey said groups with the highest confidence levels "were members of the black community and young people (those aged under 35)".
The highest levels of concerns raised were in relation to drugs, gangs and anti-social behaviour.
Dr Alan Billings said: “There are clearly some areas where improvements can be made, in particular around the victim journey and in the legacy areas.
“However, I am assured that work being undertaken as part of the neighbourhood policing strategy to improve engagement and communication with communities will go a long way to improving perceptions of the force and understanding of the work being done.
“This survey is unique in the sheer size of people surveyed from ‘hard-to-reach’ communities. The sample size of 4,400 people is large in its scale and diversity and provides an excellent sample of views of the public about their police force.”
Asst Chief Constable David Hartley said: “It is encouraging to read that public confidence levels among our hard-to-hear communities are very high and this feedback is due praise for our officers, who are dedicated to their vocation and providing excellent public service.
“However, it is clear that there is still work to be done, particularly around victims of crime, who expressed less confidence in the police than people who had not been victims."
He added: “New structures are being implemented to enable staff to deliver excellent victim care and we are confident this will improve the victim journey.”
To read the full survey click here.
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