UK Parliament POST: POSTnote 693: Trust in the Police

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 solving.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherThe Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2023

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