Just 57% believe police in the capital can be relied upon
Proportion who believe police treat everyone fairly is falling
Public trust and confidence in the Metropolitan Police Service has hit an all-time low, according to the latest figures from City Hall.
The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), headed up by Sadiq Khan, surveys Londoners about their perceptions of the police and publishes the results quarterly.
The latest figures, which cover the period until March 2022, show just 57 per cent of Londoners believe the Met can be relied upon to be there when needed – down from 59 per cent in the previous quarter.
On average, 62 per cent of Londoners agreed the Met treats everyone fairly – down from 64 per cent. This rate was relatively high in Hounslow at 73 per cent compared to 63 in Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham, 55 in Wandsworth and 59 for Merton.
Both measures represent record lows for public perceptions of the Met, down from 77 per cent and 74 per cent respectively in 2014 when the figures were first published.
Scotland Yard has been rocked by “a series of devastating scandals” in the past 18 months including the murder of Sarah Everard by a then-serving Met officer, details of racist and misogynist attitudes among officers, and the arrests of several officers for offences ranging from misconduct to rape.
Those scandals and the subsequent fall in confidence in the Met led to a public falling out between Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and former Met Commissioner Cressida Dick, who resigned in March.
A spokesperson for Mr Khan said he is working with Home Secretary Priti Patel to appoint a new commissioner who “understands the depths of the cultural issues facing the Met and has a plan to restore the trust and confidence of Londoners in the service”.
The mayor’s spokesperson said: “In the UK we police by consent, which is why it’s so important that the public have trust and confidence in our police.
“A series of devastating scandals in the Met, including the murder of Sarah Everard by Wayne Couzens, the racism, homophobia and misogyny of Charing Cross officers and the strip search of a Black schoolgirl have led to confidence levels in the Met hitting an all-time low.
“There are thousands of brave, decent police officers in the Met and the mayor is determined to deliver the changes necessary so that that our police service has the confidence of all the communities it serves.”
On average, just 49 per cent of Londoners said they thought the Met did a good job of policing their local area – though there are disparities between boroughs.
Croydon had the lowest public satisfaction with just 37 per cent of residents agreeing police did a good job.
In Richmond-upon-Thames, however, this rose to 67 per cent.
There were significant disparities between boroughs in terms of other measures as well.
While just 39 per cent of Lambeth residents agreed the Met treats everyone fairly, 80 per cent of people living in Hillingdon agreed with the statement.
Claire Waxman, London’s Independent Victims’ Commissioner, said the decline in public trust and satisfaction “comes as no surprise”, having “engaged with many victims and the organisations who support them”.
Ms Waxman said: “Trust and confidence are a fundamental element of our justice system, as we need victims to come forward and report crimes, and we need them to stay engaged in the process once they do.
“The criminal justice system continues to fail many victims, and significant work is needed alongside a cultural shift to improve the response to victims and understand the important role they play in the justice process.”
Joe Talora - Local Democracy Reporter
May 18, 2022