Public backing for police

Dyfed Powys Police Federation secretary Roger Webb says members have stepped up to the challenge of policing the pandemic.

He was commenting after newly-released Office for National Statistics (ONS) crime figures revealed that between 90 and 92 per cent of adults were satisfied with the way local police were responding to the pandemic.

Roger said: “It’s been a challenging period for our members but one that they’ve stepped up to and met face on. They have been on the front-line protecting the public and working with our communities to ensure the lockdowns are maintained.

“And I think that has resonated with the public, who appreciate the job that officers are doing during unprecedented times.”

Crime Survey for England and Wales (TCSEW) figures found that more than two thirds of adults gave police a positive rating for the work they were doing in their local area. Around half said they were doing a good job and one fifth said they were doing an excellent job.

The new ONS figures also show that crime dropped by 15 per cent in the Dyfed Powys Force area in the three months to June as the country was put into lockdown.

Violent offences were down 25 per cent, shoplifting was down 54 per cent and sexual offences were down 35 per cent. Drug offences rose by 18 per cent and public order offences were up 16 per cent.

Roger said: “It’s always good to see crime figures falling and while the lockdown had a huge impact, there were still a lot of pressures on our members to enforce it and to keep people safe.

“We’re now seeing a return to pre-lockdown levels and it’s increasing the pressure even more on our members who are also having to continue to enforce the coronavirus restrictions.

“It continues to be a challenging time.”

John Apter, the national Federation chair, added: “The 12-month period this survey relates to was prior to and during the Covid lockdown, and it’s already been widely reported that crime fell during this time. Therefore, the results come as no surprise.

“Although crime fell during the pandemic the pressure on the police remained. Policing had to adapt to a situation unlike anything we had experienced before and continues to do so even as the national lockdown was lifted and crime returned to pre-lockdown levels. That pressure has increased with local lockdowns being rolled out and because of the additional challenges they bring to policing.

“It’s so good to see the vast majority of the public have positive views of the way my colleagues have responded to the pandemic. This is despite unfair coverage in certain sections of the media.

“Policing the pandemic has been incredibly challenging, and my colleagues have more than stepped up to do the best they could in the most difficult of circumstances. It’s clear the public have recognised this.

“Policing must retain this positive relationship with the community and work together. With multiple level restrictions coming into place in different parts of the country, the pandemic is certainly not over - and neither are the challenges to policing it has brought.”