Most Britons support tighter restrictions on pornography - but men and women are divided, poll suggests

·2-min read

The majority of Britons support greater restrictions on internet pornography - and close to half believe sexually explicit content increases levels of violence against women, a poll suggests.

The YouGov/Sky News survey exposed a significant divide between the views of British men and women on a number of issues.

While 80% of women would back tougher regulations concerning pornography on the web, just 46% of men said the same.

And while 64% of women think that graphic videos and photos posted online contribute to violent incidents, only 31% of men agree.

The poll was conducted after Wayne Couzens, a serving Metropolitan Police officer, was given a whole life term for kidnapping, raping and murdering Sarah Everard.

Of the women who took part in the survey, 38% said they feel less safe walking alone in the street than they did five years ago. Just 2% said they feel more safe.

And when asked how they would generally feel if they were walking alone on a street in their local area at night, 54% of women said they would feel unsafe.

Across the country, more people now mistrust the Met Police than trust them - but this is not the case in London, where 57% still have faith in the force.

A gender divide is also evident on the issue of sexism. While 50% of women think Britain is a sexist country, only 33% of men agree with this statement.

And while 74% of women think sexism is common among men, just 59% of men feel the same.

Ms Everard's murder has led to renewed discussion about violence against women and girls, with Downing Street saying that there are systemic issues that need to be tackled.

Questions have also been raised about vetting procedures for officers - and Boris Johnson has warned that restoring women's confidence in the police will be a "massive job".

The prime minister has called for a change in the "culture of policing" after Couzens was sentenced, and Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has committed to a review and the appointment of an independent "anti-sleaze" adviser.

However, Dame Cressida has said she will not resign, despite repeated calls for her to step down.

In separate developments, a Metropolitan Police officer charged with rape has been remanded in custody after appearing in court.

PC David Carrick, 46, who is based within the Met's Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, appeared at Hatfield Magistrates' Court via video link.

The Met said he was off duty at the time of the alleged rape, which Hertfordshire Constabulary said occurred on 4 September 2020 in St Albans.

YouGov polled 1,657 adults online between 1 and 3 October.

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