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York residents give their verdict on public safety and policing

Posted on 4 October 2012

Residents in York are broadly positive about the city in terms of public safety and their attitudes towards the police, according to a new survey.

The survey gave residents the opportunity to express their views on York and their local areas in terms of crime, anti-social behaviour and policing.

Academics at the York Management School at the University of York, led by Professor Kiran Fernandes, devised and delivered the survey alongside City of York Council with the support of North Yorkshire Police and Safer York Partnership.

It is critical that the public are confident about the police and local policing initiatives, as this will enable a more efficient, citizen-focused policing system in the UK

Professor Kiran Fernandes

The survey gathered the views of over 2,400 residents and former residents of York between April and June this year. It revealed that three-quarters of respondents felt that York is a safe place overall and more than 90 per cent of respondents indicated they were satisfied with their local area as a place in which to live.

Approximately 70 per cent of respondents had confidence in the police in York and over 80 per cent felt that they could rely on them to treat them with respect. Most also had positive views about the levels of crime and anti-social behaviour in their areas with the issue of rubbish or litter generally being the biggest cause for concern.

Asked what would increase confidence in the police in York, most responses focused on a greater desire for increased police presence and visibility, though a substantial proportion suggested greater communication and community engagement by the force would also be helpful.

These results form part of a larger study carried out by the University of York team investigating the issues that affect public attitudes towards policing with further results expected later in the year.

Researcher Mike Perkins, of the York Management School, said: “I would like to thank all of the York residents who took their time to complete this survey and provide us with their views. I hope to work with the partner organisations involved to ensure that residents benefit from the results of this study.”

Professor Fernandes added: "It is critical that the public are confident about the police and local policing initiatives, as this will enable a more efficient, citizen-focused policing system in the UK."

Councillor Dafydd Williams, City of York Council’s cabinet member for Crime and Stronger Communities said:  “It is very pleasing to know that this survey confirms what figures already show, which is that York is a safe place in which to live and work. But we are not complacent and we know there are still problems with anti-social behaviour especially, which the council is committed to tackling.”

North Yorkshire’s Temporary Chief Constable Tim Madgwick added: “The results are positive and support our position as one of the safest places in the country.  Our partners play a vital role in our drive to keep crime and anti-social behaviour down and I must acknowledge the important work they do alongside the police to help keep our communities safe.

“We have some of the lowest levels of anti-social behaviour in the country and have recorded a significant reduction in this type of offence across the force area, including a 28 per cent reduction in the York area.

“However, we are not complacent and one of my main priorities is to improve the service we give to members of the public, including neighbourhoods where anti-social behaviour is a problem.”

Notes to editors:

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153

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