Retailers are painting an improving picture of local policing, which has been echoed by a high-profile new report on standards.
The HM Inspectorate of Constabulary study of 26,057 people found that 76% were “satisfied” with policing in their local area.
Saquib Ghafoor, owner of a Bargain Booze and Nisa store in Tyne and Wear, said: “I am pleased with the local police in the area, they are always quick to respond to us and always make themselves available to us to communicate with.
“The most common crimes we encounter are shop theft and anti-social behaviour, and the police always treat these incidents seriously. We have a close relationship with our local police team and often spot them in the street and we deal with them once a month on average.”
The report also found that 72% of people felt that crime and anti-social behaviour was not much of a problem in their local community, while nationally, over three quarters (77%) were satisfied with their local area as a place to live.
Mohammad Afzal, owner of a Nisa store in Oxford City centre, said: “The most common incident we face in the store is shoplifting, but we have seen a reduction in the rate of incidents and generally I would say that crime levels in the city centre have gone down, which you’d have to give credit to the police for.”
The report also found 31% of people felt ‘very or fairly well’ informed about what the police were doing in their local area.
Chief constable Simon Cole, the National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for local policing, welcomed the report: “This is a reflection of the positive work that has been done by forces to engage with the public on the issues that matter to them.
“The importance of communication and engagement stands out of this research; those who feel more informed about their local police and are confident they can get hold of police when needed feel safer.”