Trust in the police: UK Parliament - POSTnote 693

Richard Brown, Abbi Hobbs

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review


The UK policing model relies on public trust and consent. This POSTnote outlines
recent trends in levels of public trust in the police, including variation between
demographic groups. It summarises research on barriers to trust in the police and
the effectiveness of different approaches to increasing trust. It also outlines
stakeholder views on policy priorities. Policing is a devolved matter in the UK; this
POSTnote focuses on England and Wales but presents findings from across the UK
and draws on international research evidence.
• Evidence suggests that levels of trust and confidence in the police in England
and Wales have declined in recent years and vary by ethnicity and gender.
• Trust can be affected by individual and group experiences of the police, police
conduct and performance, and media coverage of the police.
• Research suggests that trust in the police is more highly correlated with
perceptions of police fairness than with perceptions of effectiveness in dealing
with crime.
• Key factors that increase public trust in the police include improving the quality
of interactions between officers and members of the public and increasing
aspects of community policing that are focused on addressing local concerns.
• Stakeholders have identified several policy priorities, including improving:
transparency and accountability; police performance and culture; police-public
interactions; and police visibility, community engagement and local problem
Original languageEnglish
PublisherThe Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2023

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