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1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2015/16, 78% of people aged 16 and over in England and Wales had confidence in their local police, compared with 76% in 2013/14

  • in every one of the last 3 years, Black Caribbean people had less confidence in the police compared to White British people

  • among the broad ethnic groups, Black people and those with Mixed ethnicity had less confidence in the local police than White people

  • Asian people had the highest levels of confidence in the local police in each of the last 3 years (jointly with White people in 2015/16)

Things you need to know

These figures are based on the annual Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW).

The CSEW is a face-to-face survey in which people aged 16 or over living in England and Wales are asked about their experiences of a selected range of criminal offences in the previous 12 months.

The CSEW is able to capture a broad range of victim-based crimes experienced by those interviewed, not just those that have been reported to (and recorded by) the police. However, some offences such as homicide and sexual offences are not included in its main estimates.

Since October 2015, the survey has included fraud and computer misuse. However, as data from before this point is not available, the statistics and commentary presented here exclude fraud and computer misuse offences.

Keep in mind when making comparisons between ethnic groups that all survey estimates are subject to a degree of uncertainty. This is because they are based on a sample of the population. The degree of uncertainty is greater when the number of respondents is small, so it will be highest for ethnic minority groups.

Estimates based on fewer than 50 responses are excluded, as they are considered less reliable.

To increase the reliability of the data when broken down by gender, age group and socio-economic group, the ONS combines data for each year into a 3-year average.

These statistics are estimates based on the sample of people who took part in the survey, and may not reflect the whole population. You should therefore use caution when interpreting them.

The CSEW does not include:

  • people living in communal establishments (such as care homes, student halls of residence and prisons):
  • crimes against commercial or public sector bodies
What the data measures

This data measures the percentage of the population who said they had overall confidence in the local police. The data is based on responses to the annual Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW).

Respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with 6 statements relating to their perceptions of the local police:

  • the police can be relied upon when needed
  • the police would treat you with respect
  • the police would treat you fairly
  • the police understand local concerns
  • the police deal with local concerns
  • taking everything into account I have confidence in the police

Those who said they agreed or strongly agreed with the statement ‘Taking everything into account I have confidence in the police in this area’ were judged to have overall confidence in the police.

Survey respondents included both victims and non-victims of crime.

The ethnic categories used in this data

Where possible, this data is broken down by the 18 ethnic categories listed in the 2011 Census. There's a separate category for respondents whose ethnicity wasn't known.

The 2011 Census categories are as follows:

White:

  • English/ Welsh/ Scottish/ Northern Irish/ British
  • Irish
  • Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller
  • Any other White background

Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups:

  • White and Black Caribbean
  • White and Black African
  • White and Asian
  • Any other Mixed/ Multiple ethnic background

Asian/Asian British:

  • Indian
  • Pakistani
  • Bangladeshi
  • Chinese
  • Any other Asian background

Black/African/Caribbean/Black British:

  • African
  • Caribbean
  • Any other Black/African/Caribbean background

Other ethnic group:

  • Arab
  • Any other ethnic group

To analyse the data by gender, age group and socio-economic group, the Office for National Statistics uses the following 5 broad ethnic categories:

  • Asian / Asian British
  • Black / African / Caribbean / Black British
  • Mixed / Multiple ethnic groups
  • White
  • Other ethnic group

2. Confidence in the local police by ethnicity over time

Percentage and number of people who had confidence in the police by ethnicity over time
2013/14 2014/15 2015/16
Ethnicity % Number % Number % Number
All 76 35,075 76 33,015 78 34,922
Asian 79 1,805 78 1,626 79 1,770
Bangladeshi 71 137 82 122 77 133
Chinese 77 168 77 134 80 171
Indian 83 759 81 665 81 712
Pakistani 72 397 71 385 75 425
Asian other 82 344 81 320 84 329
Black 70 946 71 894 73 882
Black African 75 555 77 523 79 518
Black Caribbean 62 346 60 314 62 303
Black other withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 45 65 57 62 61
Mixed 72 336 64 304 72 359
Mixed White/Asian 75 80 73 87 76 93
Mixed White/Black African withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 46 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 44 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 44
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 69 118 68 98 66 132
Mixed other 74 92 59 75 72 90
White 76 31,725 76 29,917 79 31,627
White British 75 29,836 75 28,209 78 29,685
White Irish 81 319 80 295 80 286
White Gypsy/Traveller withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 12 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 10 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 15
White other 81 1,558 81 1,403 85 1,641
Other 77 232 77 231 81 241
Arab 79 88 82 82 80 86
Any other 76 144 73 149 81 155

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in each of the 3 years studied, Black people had less confidence in the local police than White people

  • overall, 78% of people had confidence in the local police in 2015/16, compared with 76% in 2013/14

  • among specific ethnic groups, Black Caribbean people had less confidence in the local police compared with White British people in each of the 3 years studied – sample sizes were too small to draw firm conclusions for other ethnic groups

3. Confidence in the local police by ethnicity and gender

Percentage and number of people who had confidence in the local police by ethnicity and gender
All Female Male
Ethnicity % Number % Number % Number
Asian 79 5,201 79 2,615 79 2,586
Black 71 2,722 73 1,579 69 1,143
Mixed 69 999 68 587 71 412
White 77 93,269 78 50,972 76 42,297
Other 78 704 78 336 78 368

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • women from the Black and White ethnic groups had more confidence in the local police than men from the same ethnic group

  • although the data shows a difference between men and women from the Mixed ethnic group, sample sizes for this group are small so any generalisations based on this result are very unreliable

4. Confidence in the local police by ethnicity and age

Percentage and number of adults who had confidence in the local police by ethnicity and age
Asian Black Mixed White Other
Age group % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number
16-24 76 567 63 282 70 204 75 6,515 73 89
25-34 77 1,354 69 534 71 254 76 12,583 82 176
35-44 80 1,450 78 713 63 223 76 14,087 81 193
45-54 77 797 67 610 64 158 75 16,020 74 112
55-64 83 540 78 282 74 71 75 15,576 72 63
65-74 84 351 80 162 81 61 78 15,692 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 43
75+ 87 142 84 139 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 28 84 12,796 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 28

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

When the figures for the last 3 years are combined:

  • around three-quarters of adults in the youngest age group (16 to 24) had confidence in the local police – this was the lowest proportion found in any age group

  • adults aged 75 and over were most likely to have confidence in the local police

  • Black people aged 16 to 24 had the least confidence in the local police and Asian people aged 75 and over had the most confidence in the local police

  • within the Mixed ethnic group, people aged 35 to 44 had the least confidence, a clear difference from White adults in this age range

5. Confidence in the police by ethnicity and socio-economic group

Percentage and number of people who had confidence in the local police by ethnicity and socio-economic group
Asian Black Mixed White Other
Socio-economic group % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number
Managerial and professional occupations 78 1,639 69 794 65 335 80 32,012 77 194
Intermediate occupations 76 1,070 69 467 74 198 77 22,083 75 123
Routine and manual occupations 79 1,454 76 985 64 307 74 33,433 81 177
Never worked and long-term unemployed 85 578 73 231 75 55 69 2,801 82 104
Full-time students 79 420 65 223 80 99 80 2,448 77 105
Not classified withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 40 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 22 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 5 73 492 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 1

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • Black full-time students had less confidence in the local police than White full-time students – confidence levels were similar among full-time students from the Asian, Mixed and Other ethnic groups

  • within routine and manual occupations, White people had more confidence in the local police than people with Mixed ethnicity, but less confidence than people from the Other ethnic background

  • within intermediate occupations (for example, clerical, sales, service occupations), White people had more confidence in the local police than Black people

  • within managerial and professional occupations, White people had more confidence in the local police than Black people and people with Mixed ethnicity

  • among the long-term unemployed, White people had the lowest levels of confidence of any ethnic group

6. Methodology

CSEW estimates are based on analysis of structured face-to-face interviews carried out using computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI). In 2015/16, the response rate was 72%.

The CSEW is a household sample survey and, as such, estimates are based on a representative sample of the population of England and Wales aged 16 and over. A sample, as used in the CSEW, is a small-scale representation of the population from which it is drawn.

Weighting:

Weighting is used to adjust the results of a survey to make them representative of the population and improve their accuracy.

For example, a survey which contains 25% women and 75% men will not accurately reflect the views of the general population, which we know has an even 50/50 split.

Statisticians rebalance or ‘weight’ the survey results to more accurately represent the general population. This helps to make them more reliable.

Survey weights are usually applied to make sure the survey sample has broadly the same gender, age, ethnic and geographic make up as the general population.

The CSEW collects information from approximately 35,000 households each year. Since those responses reflect only a fraction of the total population of England and Wales, a process is used to give different weights to different households and individuals based on their sex, age and region, in such a way that the weighted distribution of responding household and individuals in these households matches the known distribution in the population as a whole.

First, weights are applied to the raw data to compensate for:

  • unequal address selection probabilities (given, some areas are more populated than others)
  • the observed variation in response rates between different types of neighbourhood
  • situations in which only one dwelling unit can be selected in multiple ‘dwelling unit' households
  • different probabilities of a respondent being selected based on different sized households

Second, calibration weighting is used to make adjustments for known differentials in response rates between different regions and between different age by six sub-groups.

Socio-economic groups:

The National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC) categorises members of the adult public in the UK according to their occupational status.

The NS-SEC categories are:

  • managerial and professional occupations
  • intermediate occupations (clerical, sales, service)
  • routine and manual occupations
  • never worked and long-term unemployed
  • full-time students
  • not classified

Suppression rules and disclosure control

Estimates from the Crime Survey for England and Wales have National Statistics status.

National Statistics are a subset of official statistics which have been certified by the UK Statistics Authority as compliant with its Code of Practice for Official Statistics, including requirements on disclosure control. Estimates based on a number of respondents (known as the 'unweighted base') that is less than 50 are suppressed as these estimates are deemed to be less reliable.

Rounding

Estimates in the charts and tables are given to the nearest whole number.

You can see more detailed estimates (rounded to 1 decimal place) if you download the data.

Further technical information

Since the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) is based on a sample of the population, estimates have a margin of quantifiable and non-quantifiable error associated with them.

Non-quantifiable error includes:

  • when respondents have recalled crimes in the reference period that actually occurred outside that period
  • crimes that did occur in the reference period that were not mentioned at all (either because respondents failed to recall a fairly trivial incident or, conversely, because they did not want to disclose an incident, such as a domestic assault)
  • respondents saying they reported crimes to police when they did not (a “socially desirable” response)
  • some incidents reported during the interview being miscoded (‘interviewer or coder error’)

7. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Office for National Statistics

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) is used alongside crime data recorded by police to provide government with information about the extent and nature of crime in England and Wales.

The survey records all types of crimes experienced by people, including those crimes that may not have been reported to the police.

8. Download the data

Confidence in the police - Spreadsheet (csv) 113 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, geography, gender, socio-economic status, value, denominator