Publication - Statistics publication

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2016/17: main findings

Published: 27 Mar 2018
Directorate:
Justice Directorate
Part of:
Law and order, Statistics
ISBN:
9781788517171

This report details the main findings from the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey conducted 2016-2017.

129 page PDF

2.9 MB

129 page PDF

2.9 MB

Contents
Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2016/17: main findings
6. Public perceptions of the police and the justice system

129 page PDF

2.9 MB

6. Public perceptions of the police and the justice system

This chapter reports on public confidence in and attitudes towards the police in the local area, both in 2016/17 and over time where possible. It then explores knowledge of and attitudes towards the criminal justice system in Scotland more generally.

Perceptions of the police

SCJS time trends in this report typically assess if and how results in 2016/17 differed from 2008/09 and 2014/15. However, the last SCJS prior to the formation of Police Scotland was in 2012/13, so in presenting findings on policing this chapter also examines some key changes which have occurred between 2012/13 and 2016/17, where any are detected [61] .

As well as national level results, this chapter provides findings broken down for demographic and area characteristics (including deprivation and urban/rural status). SCJS results provided to Police Division level will be available biennially from 2017/18 onwards (as they have been since 2012/13), with two sweeps worth of data combined to increase the sample size and precision around results [62] . Further information on the SCJS reporting structure is available on the SCJS website.

The results presented in this chapter are based only on SCJS data from 2008/09 to 2016/17. However, data on confidence in the police also formed part of the Scottish Surveys Core Questions ( SSCQ) between 2012 and 2017, which combines selected data from the three SG population surveys to offer larger sample sizes to facilitate further analysis for lower geographies and population sub-groups. Further details about the SSCQ, and some experimental analysis using the 2014 SSCQ police confidence data, are available on the Scottish Government website.

What did the public think about the performance of the police?

Most people were positive about the work of their local police, but the level of support was relatively weaker amongst adults in the most deprived areas and victims of crime.

The majority of adults in Scotland (58%) believed the police in their local area were doing an 'excellent' or 'good' job in 2016/17. This is a similar to the result in the 2014/15 SCJS but lower than the 61% who felt this way in 2012/13 [63] as shown in Figure 6.1. Just under one-third (31%) thought the police were doing a 'fair' job in 2016/17.

Figure 6.1: Views on the performance of the police in the local area
Figure 6.1: Views on the performance of the police in the local area
Base: All adults (5,570); Variable: QRATPOL

However, consistent with SCJS findings in previous years, victims of crime were less likely than non-victims to say the police were doing a good or excellent job (51% compared with 60% respectively). Likewise, a smaller proportion of those living in the 15% most deprived areas of Scotland described the local police's performance as good or excellent compared to adults in the rest of Scotland (53% compared with 59% respectively). However, people in rural areas were just as likely as those in urban areas to think the police were doing a good or excellent job in 2016/17 (57% and 59% respectively).

How confident were people in the ability of the police?

Overall, the public were confident in the ability of the police to perform key functions and confidence has increased since 2008/09.

Respondents were asked how confident they were in the ability of the police in their local areas to undertake six particular components of work:

  • Prevent crime
  • Investigate incidents after they occur
  • Respond quickly to appropriate calls and information from the public
  • Solve crimes
  • Deal with incidents as they occur
  • Catch criminals

Most adults in Scotland had confidence in the police in their local area across all six measures in 2016/17, as shown in Figure 6.2.

Figure 6.2: Proportion of adults who were confident in the ability of the local police to carry out various aspects of police work
Figure 6.2: Proportion of adults who were confident in the ability of the local police to carry out various aspects of police work
Base: All adults (5,570); Variables: QPOLCONF_01 – QPOLCONF_06

Whilst confidence in the police to carry out the six aspects of police work in 2016/17 was relatively strong, it was also higher than it was when the SCJS first collected these data in 2008/09. Table 6.1 looks at trends in confidence over time and shows there have been significant improvements across all measures asked about in the survey since 2008/09.

Table 6.1: Confidence in the police over time

Percentage of adults very/fairly confident in the ability of the local police to: 2016/17 Change since 2008/09 Change since 2014/15
Prevent crime 56% ⇧ from 46% No change
Respond quickly to appropriate calls and information from the public 64% ⇧ from 53% No change
Deal with incidents as they occur 66% ⇧ from 58% No change
Investigate incidents after they occur 71% ⇧ from 64% No change
Solve crimes 65% ⇧ from 57% ⇧ from 62%
Catch criminals 63% ⇧ from 55% ⇧ from 60%

Base: All adults (2016/17: 5,570; 2008/09: 16,000; 2014/15: 11,470); Variables: QPOLCONF_01 – QPOLCONF_06

Statistically significant changes over the shorter-term have been less common, although comparing 2016/17 SCJS results to the 2012/13 and 2014/15 does highlight some fluctuations in results. More specifically, the results in 2016/17 were:

  • Higher than 2014/15 on two measures (solve crimes and catch criminals) – as shown in Table 6.1 above; and
  • Lower than 2012/13 on two measures: respond quickly (down from 66% in 2012/13) and deal with incidents (down from 68% in 2012/13).

Analysis of trends over longer periods can sometimes smooth out shorter-term (and often not statistically significant) variation and enables an assessment to be made of the longer term trajectories in experiences or public perceptions. With this in mind, it is again worth highlighting that confidence on all six measures has improved since 2008/09, and even on those measures which have fallen since 2012/13 almost two-thirds of the public are still very or fairly confident in the ability of the police to perform these functions. That said, it will be important to monitor these findings into the future to assess whether the long-term trend of improvement continues given more recent fluctuations.

How did confidence in the police vary amongst the population?

Whilst generally the majority in all groups were confident in the police, the level of confidence was lower on some measures amongst victims of crime, those living in deprived areas and those in rural locations.

The SCJS enables us to examine how confidence in the ability of the police varied across the population according to demographic and geographic characteristics, as well as whether individuals had experienced crime or not in 2016/17.

Across the vast majority of categories, most adults ( i.e. more than 50%) in each group were very or fairly confident in the ability of the local police to perform each of the six aspects of work. For example, across all six measures, the majority of adults were confident when results are broken down by gender, age, deprivation and urban/rural status as shown in Annex tables A1.14 to A1.19. Indeed, looking at the breakdowns provided in these tables, the only result where less than half of relevant respondents said they were confident was amongst victims of crime in 2016/17 where 45% said they were confident in the ability of the police to prevent crime.

However, notwithstanding the overall positive perceptions of the police, the level of confidence held in 2016/17 did vary amongst comparator groups. For example, as highlighted in Figure 6.3 [64] below, confidence on some measures was weaker amongst:

  • Victims of crime in 2016/17, compared to non-victims;
  • Adults living in the 15% most deprived areas; and
  • Those living in rural locations.

It is interesting to note that the measures where confidence was lower amongst victims of crime and those living in the 15% most deprived area (who were more likely to have experienced crime in 2016/17) are related to the prevention and clearing-up of crimes. In contrast, those in rural areas (who were less likely to have experienced crime in 2016/17 than those in urban areas) had lower confidence on measures relating to the speed of the police response to incidents.

In addition, confidence across the six measures was higher amongst younger adults (aged 16-24) compared to older cohorts. For instance, 78% of 16-24 year olds were confident in the ability of the police to respond quickly to calls and information, whilst this was the case for 69% of those aged 25-44; 56% of people between the ages of 45 and 59; and 59% of those aged 60 and over.

The level of confidence amongst men and women was generally similar across the range of measures in 2016/17, although females were more likely to have confidence in the ability of the police to respond quickly (66% compared to 61% of males).

Figure 6.3: Variation in the proportion of adults who were very/fairly confident in the police to perform key functions by experience and area characteristics
Variation in the proportion of adults who were very/fairlyconfident in the police to perform key functions by experienceand area characteristics

Base: Victims (700); Non-victims (4,870); 15% most deprived areas (800); Rest of Scotland (4,760); Urban (4,500); Rural (1,070). Variables: QPOLCONF_01 – QPOLCONF_06

Confidence in the police has improved amongst many groups since 2008/09.

Whilst differences persist amongst population sub-categories, looking at trends over time across the six measures of public confidence in the police, the SCJS finds that perceptions have improved since 2008/09 for many key groups in the population.

For instance, the proportion of adults who felt very or fairly confident in the ability of the police to take forward each of the six components of police work asked about in the survey was higher in 2016/17 compared to 2008/09 amongst: both men and women; those living in the most deprived areas of Scotland and adults living elsewhere; victims of crime and those who had not experienced crime.

By way of example, Figure 6.4 below provides an indication of how results have improved in the 15% most deprived areas of Scotland over time. These results are shown in full in Annex Tables A1.14 to A1.19, along with the breakdowns highlighted above and others [65] . Statistically significant changes since 2014/15 have been less common, although the Annex tables also highlight where these have been detected for each group.

Figure 6.4: Proportion of adults who were very/fairly confident in the ability of the police in the 15% most deprived areas of Scotland, 2008/09 - 2016/17
Figure 6.4: Proportion of adults who were very/fairly confident in the ability of the police in the 15% most deprived areas of Scotland, 2008/09 - 2016/17
Base: Adults living in 15% most deprived areas (2008/09: 2,440; 2016/17: 800); Variables: QPOLCONF_01 – QPOLCONF_06

Despite confidence in the police improving amongst many population groups over time, confidence in rural areas in 2016/17 was at a similar level as in 2008/09.

While we see some fluctuations in interim years between 2008/09 and 2016/17, Table 6.2 outlines how public confidence in the police amongst those in urban and rural areas in 2016/17 compared to 2008/09 (when these questions were first introduced). It shows that in rural areas the only measure where a statistically significant change is detected when 2016/17 results are compared to the 2008/09 baseline is in the proportion of adults who were confident in the ability of the police to prevent crime, which has increased from 48% to 54%. In contrast, and in line with the national average, amongst adults living in urban areas confidence in the police has increased across all six measures since 2008/09. Overall, this suggests that public confidence amongst adults in rural areas may have shown a different trend to the perceptions of the population overall (and those in urban areas) since 2008/09.

Table 6.2 also shows how results in 2016/17 compare against the position in 2014/15, whilst the full time-series showing fluctuations from year to year in results for urban and rural areas, as well as other breakdowns, are shown in Annex tables A1.14 to A1.19.

Table 6.2: Confidence in the police in urban and rural areas.

Urban areas Rural areas
Proportion of adults who were very or fairly confident in the police to: 2016/17 Change since 2008/09 Change since 2014/15 2016/17 Change since 2008/09 Change since 2014/15
Prevent crime 56% ⇧ from 45% No change 54% ⇧ from 48% No change
Respond quickly to appropriate calls and information from the public 66% ⇧ from 54% No change 56% No change ⇩ from 62%
Deal with incidents as they occur 67% ⇧ from 57% No change 60% No change ⇩ from 65%
Investigate incidents after they occur 72% ⇧ from 63% No change 68% No change No change
Solve crimes 66% ⇧ from 56% ⇧ from 62% 62% No change No change
Catch criminals 63% ⇧ from 54% ⇧ from 60% 62% No change No change
Number of respondents 4,500 12,420 9,240 1,070 3,580 2,240

Variables: QPOLCONF_01 – QPOLCONF_06

Notwithstanding the trends over time in confidence, it is worth noting that the majority of people in rural areas were very or fairly confident in the ability of the police to take forward the six aspects asked about in 2016/17. Additionally, people in rural areas were just as likely as those in urban areas to think the police were doing a good or excellent job in 2016/17 (57% and 59% respectively).

Overall, as with the national level findings on confidence, it will be important to monitor these measures amongst adults in rural areas into the future to assess how the long and shorter-term trends develop.

What else can the SCJS tell us about attitudes towards the police?

In 2016/17 adults in Scotland were generally positive about the way the police in their local area carried out their work and engaged with the public.

As well as looking at confidence in the ability of the police, the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey monitors the population's perceptions of the way the police take forward their work and engage with individuals and communities in Scotland. For instance, the survey seeks to explore whether individuals believe the police treat people fairly and with respect, and whether the service is focused on the issues which matter to particular communities. These factors are likely to influence and be related to the public's confidence in the police, and so help to contextualise the results presented earlier.

Respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with a series of statements about the police in their area, with respondents mostly providing positive responses or saying they did not have a strong view, as shown in Figure 6.5 below. This is in line with the finding that confidence in the police is generally strong. That said, almost a quarter of adults (23%) thought community relations with the police in their area were poor, and a fifth (21%) believed that the police were not dealing with the important issues in their community. These findings are interesting given that only 10% disagreed with the statement that 'the police in this area listen to the concerns of local people'.

Figure 6.5: Attitudes towards the police in 2016/17
Figure 6.5: Attitudes towards the police in 2016/17
Base: Adults who are not a serving police officer, married to or living with serving police officer (5,420); Variables: POLOPREL – POLOPOVER

Attitudes towards the police have improved since 2009/10.

Since 2009/10 (when these questions were first included in the survey) there have been improvements in public attitudes towards the operation of the police. Overall, in 2016/17 the Scottish population were more likely to believe that the local police treat individuals fairly and with respect, are listening to communities in Scotland and focusing on issues of importance to them than they were in 2009/10 – as shown in Table 6.3 below.

Table 6.3: Public attitudes towards the police over time

Proportion of adults who said strongly / tend to agree: 2016/17 Change since 2009/10 Change since 2014/15
The police in this area would treat you with respect if you had contact with them for any reason 87% ⇧ from 83% ⇧ from 85%
Police in this area can be relied on to be there when you need them 65% ⇧ from 58% No change
The police in this area treat everyone fairly regardless of who they are 62% ⇧ from 58% ⇧ from 60%
The police in this area listen to the concerns of local people 52% ⇧ from 48% No change
Overall, people have a lot of confidence in the police in this area 46% ⇧ from 43% No change
Community relations with the police in this local area are poor 23% ⇩ from 28% No change
Police in this area are not dealing with the things that matter to people in this community 21% ⇩ from 31% No change

Base: Adults who are not a serving police officer, married to or living with serving police officer (2016/17: 5,420; 2009/10: 3,890; 2014/15: 11,180); Variables: POLOPREL – POLOPOVER

Since the last SCJS in 2014/15, most measures have shown no change, however the proportion of adults who thought the police would treat them with respect and generally treat everyone else fairly has increased.

Despite the positive longer-term trajectory of perceptions since 2009/10, trends in public attitudes across the different elements of police practice examined by the SCJS have shown fluctuations when results from 2016/17 are compared to the position in 2012/13. For example, since 2012/13, the proportion of adults who agreed that:

  • 'The police in the area listen to local people's concerns' has fallen – from 54% to 52%;
  • 'Community relations with the police in this area are poor' has increased slightly – from 22% to 23%;
  • 'Overall, people have a lot of confidence in the police in this area' has decreased – from 49% to 46%.

However, alongside this, it should be noted that between 2012/13 and 2016/17 there was an increase in the proportion who thought the police would treat them with respect (up from 86% to 87%). Likewise fewer adults now think the police do not deal with the issues that matter in their community (down from 25% in 2012/13 to 21% in 2016/17).

Attitudes vary by demographic and area characteristics, such as deprivation.

Results on public attitudes towards the police broken down by demographic and area characteristics, including over time, are available in the SCJS data tables. To provide an example of the findings available when results are examined in greater detail, Figure 6.6 compares results by area deprivation in 2016/17. It shows that, compared to those living elsewhere in Scotland, adults in the 15% most deprived areas were:

  • Less likely to agree that the police in their area would treat them with respect and treat everyone fairly; and
  • More likely to believe that the police are not dealing with the issues of importance to their community, and that community relations with the police are poor.

Figure 6.6: Attitudes towards the police by area deprivation
Figure 6.6: Attitudes towards the police by area deprivation
Base: Adults who are not a serving police officer, married to or living with serving police officer (15% most deprived areas: 780; rest of Scotland: 4,630); Variables: POLOPREL – POLOPOVER

There was no significant difference detected in the proportions of adults in deprived areas and the rest of Scotland who believed the police could be 'relied upon to be there when needed' and that the 'police listen to the concerns of local people'.

However, those living in the most deprived communities of Scotland were also less likely to think that generally people in their area have a lot of confidence in the police, with just over one-third (34%) holding this view. That said, as noted earlier, when asked directly about their own thoughts about ability of the police, confidence in deprived areas would appear to be fairly strong and has increased since 2008/09. This highlights the impact of question wording on the nature of results obtained, and the importance of viewing attitudinal findings in broader context (such as change over time and perceptions across a wider suite of measures). With this in mind, it is helpful to note that the proportion of adults in the most deprived areas believing that people in their area have confidence in the police has increased from 27% in 2009/10 to 34% in 2016/17.

Looking at trends over time in the most deprived areas for the other measures of attitudes towards the police, there was an increase between 2009/10 and 2016/17 in the proportion of adults agreeing that the police can be relied on to be there when needed (from 48% to 64%). There has also been a reduction of 12 percentage points (from 42% to 30%) in the proportion who believe the police do not deal with the things that matter to their community. All other measures have shown no significant change comparing 2009/10 with 2016/17.

What did the public think about the level of police presence locally?

The SCJS includes a series of questions which explore the public's views on the importance and awareness of police patrolling respondents' local area. The results presented below relate only to adults who are not in the police themselves, and who are not married to or living with a serving police officer.

The majority of adults were aware of the police regularly patrolling their local area in each survey from 2009/10 to 2014/15, however this fell to 43% in 2016/17.

Whilst the vast majority (93%) of adults in 2016/17 considered it very or fairly important to have local police officers who know and patrol their local area, only 43% said they were aware that their area was regularly patrolled in 2016/17 (either on foot, by bike or by car). This is lower than the level of awareness recorded in 2009/10 [66] (52%), 2012/13 (56%) and 2014/15 (52%), as shown in Figure 6.7.

Figure 6.7: Proportion of adults aware of regular police patrol in their area
Figure 6.7: Proportion of adults aware of regular police patrol in their area
Base: Adults who are not a serving police officer, married to or living with serving police officer (2009/10: 3,890; 2010/11: 3,180; 2012/13: 11,520; 2014/15: 11,180; 2016/17: 5,420); Variable: POLPATR

As in previous years, Table 6.4 shows that those living in the 15% most deprived areas were more likely than adults in the rest of Scotland to report being aware of their area being patrolled regularly. This could in part be related to the finding that people in the most deprived areas were more likely to be victims of both property and violent crime in 2016/17 than those living elsewhere, and therefore reflect police operational decisions.

Table 6.4: Public awareness of police patrolling in the local area

Percentage of respondents aware of police patrol (inlcuding how patrolled) 15% most deprived areas Rest of Scotland Scotland
Yes 53% 41% 43%
On foot 24% 13% 14%
By bicycle 10% 4% 5%
By car 47% 38% 40%
No 40% 49% 48%
Number of respondents 780 4,630 5,420

Base: Adults who are not a serving police officer, married to or living with serving police officer; Variable: POLPATR

At a national level, amongst those aware of the police patrolling their area by foot or bike, just under a third (32%) reported noticing such activity at least every couple of days, if not daily. Around a further quarter (24%) said they had seen the police at least once a week.

The population continues to be divided about whether the level of police presence in their area is sufficient, with those in deprived areas more likely to believe it is 'not enough'.

Respondents were asked whether they thought the level of police presence in their area was sufficient. Over the last few sweeps of the SCJS the population has consistently been fairly evenly divided between those who believe the local police presence is 'about right' (46% in 2016/17) or 'not enough' (49% in 2016/17). Very few respondents in each sweep have felt there is 'too much' of a police presence (1% in 2016/17).

Over the longer term, there has been an increase in the proportion of adults decribing the level of presence as 'about right' (up from 38% in 2009/10 when the question was first asked). However, the figure in 2016/17 (46%) represents a fall from a peak of 49% in 2012/13.

More than half (55%) of those living in the 15% most deprived areas of Scotland in 2016/17 thought that the police presence in their local area was 'not enough', compared to 48% in the rest of Scotland. Likewise, victims of crime were more likely to think the police presence was not sufficient (56% compared to 48% of non-victims).

How do people reflect on their interactions with the police?

The majority of people who have come into contact with the police in recent years reflect positively on their experience.

The SCJS explores respondents' experiences of contact with the police in the last year. Follow-up questions to understand how individuals feel they were treated during their engagement are asked of respondents whose most recent contact with the police involved reporting a crime; complaining or providing feedback; reporting to a police station; being stopped (in the street or car) and questioned or searched; or arrested or charged. As with general attitudes towards the police, the quality of any contact with the police and individuals' perceptions of whether they have been treated appropriately are factors which are likely to influence the level of confidence held in the police.

In 2016/17, the majority of people were fairly positive about their engagement with the police in relation to their most recent contact with the service. For example:

  • 94% said they were dealt with in a very or fairly polite manner;
  • 85% felt they were treated fairly;
  • 70% believed the police showed as much interest as they should have in what respondents had to say; and
  • 66% were very or quite satisfied with the way the police handled the matter.

Perceptions of the criminal justice system

The SCJS also collects information on public knowledge of and attitudes towards the criminal justice system in Scotland [67] , as well as contact with different organisations operating within the system.

What did the public think about the criminal justice system in Scotland?

The majority of adults in 2016/17 knew little about the criminal justice system but generally the public were fairly confident about its operation.

Consistent with previous sweeps of the SCJS, in 2016/17 a large proportion of the Scottish population claimed to know not very much (61%) or nothing at all (16%) about the Scottish criminal justice system in general. Expressed another way, more than three-quarters of adults said they did not have much knowledge of the criminal justice system.

Regardless of their self-reported knowledge, respondents were asked about their confidence in the criminal justice system as a whole through a range of statements about the operation and performance of the system. As shown in Figure 6.8 below, the majority of people were either very or fairly confident about the delivery of the criminal justice system across a range of considerations.

Figure 6.8: Confidence in the operation of the criminal justice system in 2016/17
Figure 6.8: Confidence in the operation of the criminal justice system in 2016/17
Base: All adults (5,570); Variables: QDCONF_01 – QDCONF_14

For example, nearly four out of five adults (78%) were confident that the system allows all those accused of crimes to get a fair trial, whilst three-quarters (75%) had confidence that everyone is able to access the justive system if required. However, less than half of the population were confident about the efficiency of the system (47% confident) and whether appropriate punishments are given to offenders (39% confident).

Across a range of these categories, victims of crime (compared to non-victims) and those living in the 15% most deprived areas of Scotland (compared to those living elsewhere) were less likely to be confident in the operation of the justice system. For instance:

  • 55% of respondents who were victims of crime in 2016/17 were confident that the system is effective in bringing people who commit crimes to justice, in comparison to 64% of non-victims; and
  • 67% of adults living in the 15% most deprived areas were confident that the criminal justice system makes fair, impartial decisions based on the evidence available, compared to 74% of those living elsewhere.

Full-time series results for these attitudinal measures are shown in Annex table A1.20. It shows that generally confidence in the criminal justice system was stronger across the range of measures in 2016/17 than it was the first time each question was asked (four of the current measures were first asked in 2008/09, the rest have only been asked in their current form since 2012/13). For example, the proportion of adults who were very or fairly confident that the system is effective at bringing people who commit crimes to justice increased from 53% in 2008/09 to 63% in 2016/17.

How effective did the public think prisons and other forms of sentencing in Scotland were?

The SCJS also gathers information on attitudes towards prisons and community sentencing to understand what the public thinks about processes to punish and rehabilitate offenders. The specific wording used over time has changed in a number of the questions on this topic, limiting the ability to examine some trends over time [68] . In addition, it is important to note that questions on attitudes towards prisons and community sentences are asked without reference to specific crime circumstances or offender backgrounds which may influence opinions about what constitutes a suitable sentence or approach.

The public had mixed views on the effectiveness of prisons in tackling crime and rehabilitating offenders in 2016/17.

As shown in Table 6.5, the response provided to a series of statements designed to measure confidence in the performance of the prison system in Scotland was varied. For instance, whilst around three-quarters (76%) of adults were very or fairly confident that prisons played an important role in protecting the public from crime, slightly more than half (52%) were not very or not at all confident in the ability of prisons to deter people from offending in the first place. Overall, two-thirds of people (66%) were confident that prison was an effective punishment for people who have been convicted of a crime.

Table 6.5: Confidence in the effectiveness of prisons

Proportion of adults who were confident that: Very confident Fairly confident Not very confident Not at all confident Don't know
Prison is an effective punishment for people who have been convicted of a crime. 17% 49% 21% 9% 3%
Prison is effective at addressing issues which increase the risk of someone committing a crime. 7% 36% 36% 11% 10%
Prison is effective at deterring people from offending. 8% 37% 37% 15% 3%
Prison is effective at protecting the public from crime. 21% 56% 16% 5% 3%

Base: All adults (1,360); Variables: QPRIS2_01 – QPRIS2_04

Knowledge of community payback orders and awareness of their use in respondents' local area was relatively low.

Respondents were also asked about their awareness and perceptions of community payback orders ( CPOs) – a community sentence designed to punish offenders in a way that benefits the community whilst helping offenders to address and change their behaviour. Two-fifths (38%) of the population said they were aware of CPOs, and of those, just over one in six (17%) were aware of them having been carried out in their area.

Whilst the vast majority agreed that community sentences can be effective in particular circumstances, opinions varied about the rationale behind such initiatives and whether they successfully meet their aims.

Figure 6.9 provides the results to a series of statements which respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with in relation to the objectives and delivery of community sentences.

It shows that whilst the majority of people (77%) believed that community sentencing is an effective way of dealing with certain crimes, the population provided less assured responses to the other questions posed, with many respondents providing no clear view in relation to a number of the statements. For example, whilst around two-fifths of adults (42%) agreed with the statement that 'people who complete their community sentences have made amends for the harm they have caused', one-third of respondents (33%) disagreed with this notion, whilst the remaining quarter (25%) provided no strong view or said they did not know.

Figure 6.9: Proportion of adults agreeing with statements about community sentencing
Figure 6.9: Proportion of adults agreeing with statements about community sentencing
Base: All adults (1,360); Variables: QDISATT2_03; QDISATT2_03; QDISATT2_04; QDISATT2_08; QDISATT2_09; QDISATT2_10


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