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Jersey Annual Social Survey 2010: Police Chapter Briefing

Introduction

States of Jersey Police normally participate in JASS on a biannual basis in order to obtain public priorities and perceptions to “

  • Ensure the public have a voice in the shaping of our Policing Plans;

  • Provide performance information for publication in our Annual Reports

The Police participated in the 2009 Survey with a full range of questions. Given that there is no Survey planned for 2011 because of the Census, the Police decided to include a shortened list of questions in the 2010 Survey that focussed on our key performance outcome indicators.

PERFORMANCE OF THE POLICE

The questions concerning the performance of the Police offered a range of responses from "Strongly Agree" to "Strongly Disagree". Respondents were also given a "Don't Know" option as many people will not feel they have the knowledge to provide and informed response.

In England and Wales, many of these questions are also asked in the British Crime Survey. It should be emphasised that this is a face-to-face survey as opposed to the postal survey approach used by JASS. Direct comparisons are difficult at this stage because we are awaiting a response from the Home Office about their survey and calculation methodologies but, where possible, the BCS findings are included to provide some perspective.

In some cases, up to a third of people replied "Don't Know". This is important feedback in itself as it gives some insight into whether the Police need to do more to tell the public about what we do and why. One of the key outcome measures for the Police is community trust and confidence. We are taking measures to keep people better informed so that the proportion of "Don't Knows" reduces in the future.Whilst the "don't know" responses are useful from this perspective, States of Jersey Police then exclude them from our analysis in order to gain an insight into the perceptions of people who feel they are in a position to comment on our service.

States of Jersey Police can be relied upon to be there if I need them

Of those people who expressed an opinion, 84% agreed at some level (ie strongly or tend to agree) with this statement. This showed no significant change from the 2009 findings. (British Crime Survey 50%)

States of Jersey Police treat me with respect if I have contact with them for any reason

Of those people who expressed an opinion, 89% agreed at some level with this statement. This showed no significant change from the 2009 findings. (British Crime Survey 84%)

States of Jersey Police treat everyone fairly, regardless of who they are

Of those people who expressed an opinion, 69% agreed at some level with this statement. This compares with 60% of those people who expressed an opinion in 2009. This was mainly because fewer people disagreed with the statement than last year but more opted for the "don't know" option instead. (British Crime Survey 65%)

States of Jersey Police would listen to me if I had a concern about local community safety

Of those people who expressed an opinion, 83% agreed at some level with this statement. This showed no significant change from the 2009 findings.

There is no comparable question in the British Crime Survey

I am confident I would receive a good service from the States of Jersey Police if I needed their assistance

Of those people who expressed an opinion, 86% agreed at some level with this statement. This showed no significant change from the 2009 findings.

There is no comparable question in the British Crime Survey. The Survey d"s ask people about overall confidence in the Police in their local area and 69% express a positive view

States of Jersey Police do a good job of policing Jersey

Of those people who expressed an opinion, 79% agreed at some level with this statement. This showed no significant change from the 2009 findings.

The British Crime Survey asks respondents "How good a job do you think the Police are doing? 56% of BCS respondents say a good or excellent job

Police Performance “ Summary

Overall, there has been no significant change in public perceptions of Police performance compared to 2009. Where people have expressed an opinion, perceptions of policing performance are very positive. The main finding from the survey is that the Police need to improve their communication with the public as a significant number of people remain unaware of their performance. This is something the Police are aware of and are looking to address.

CONCERNS ABOUT CRIME

These questions are asked by States of Jersey Police in order to provide a long term perspective on fear of crime in the Island. In some cases, where comparable questions are asked, it is interesting to note the findings from the British Crime Survey although it is important to recognise the different survey methodologies

The proportions of people in Jersey who are worried about burglary, violent crime or being abused / threatened in the street have remained at similar levels over the last three years.

The survey shows that the proportion of people worried about having a vehicle or property vandalised has increased from about a quarter in 2007 to more than two-fifths in 2010. In fact, the incidence of malicious damage to vehicles and homes has fallen over this period.

Burglary

4% of people in Jersey said they were very worried that they might become a victim of burglary in the next 12 months. This shows no significant change from 2009

In England and Wales, 10% of respondents to the British Crime Survey expressed high levels of worry about burglary

Violent Crime

6% of people in Jersey said they were very worried that they might become a victim of violent crime in the next 12 months. This shows no significant change from 2009

In England and Wales, 13% of respondents to the British Crime Survey expressed high levels of worry about violent crime

NEIGHBOURHOOD SAFETY

These questions are asked by States of Jersey Police in order to provide a long term perspective on perceptions of neighbourhood safety in the Island. This is the fourth occasion they have been asked in JASS.

In 2005, 84% of respondents thought their neighbourhoods were very or fairly safe. In 2010, the corresponding figure was 87%.

In 2005, 71% of St Helier residents reported that their neighbourhood was very or fairly safe. In 2010, the corresponding figure was 76%.

Summary

Overall, public perceptions of safety have remained consistently high in Jersey since 2005. The main change that has statistical significance is that a greater proportion of people believe their neighbourhood to be "very safe" (36% in 2005, 41% in 2010).

TOWN SAFETY AFTER DARK

These questions are asked by States of Jersey Police in order to provide a long term perspective on perceptions of safety in the town centre after dark. This is the second time these questions have been used in JASS.

It is important to emphasise that over 70% of the people who actually visit the town after dark consider it safe at some level.

Significant change from the findings of JASS 2009 concerning public perceptions of safety in the town after dark were not expected within the space of a year. Such shifts in public perception are more likely to materialise once a joined-up night economy strategy is in place. Many towns and cities across the United Kingdom have such night time economy strategies which involve a multi-agency approach to address licensing, transport, town centre planning, policing and economic development issues. States of Jersey Police have been advocating such a strategy for several years. This issue is one of the key themes identified by the Steering Group responsible for delivery of Strategic Priority 7 of the States Strategic Plan

It is very important to note that the local media exert enormous influence on people's perceptions of town safety after dark. JASS 2007 found that “

˜Interestingly, those who feel "Very safe" in town after dark are more likely to report that their own personal experiences were a major influence (81%), with fewer (16%) saying the local media was a major influence. In contrast, those who feel "Very unsafe" in town more frequently indicated that the local media had been a major influence than their own personal experience. This was true for two thirds (68%) of

those who felt unsafe in town, compared to under half (48%) of the same group for whom personal experience had shaped their opinion.'

 

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