Third of Brits haven't seen a police officer or PCSO in their local area in 12 months

Bobbies on the beat aren’t as common a sight as they once were (PA)

Bobbies on the beat are a thing of the past according to a third of Britons, who say they haven’t seen a police officer in their local area for a year.

36 per cent of the 17,000 people quizzed in the ‘Public perceptions of policing in England and Wales 2018’ study said that they hadn’t seen an officer or a police community support officer (PCSO) on foot in the previous 12 months.

35 per cent also said that the frequency of seeing police on foot had decreased compared to a year ago.

Not surprisingly, 48 per cent said that they were dissatisfied with these levels of frequency.

The research also revealed that two in five people believe that crime and anti-social behaviour are a big problem in their area.

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Commissioned by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), the report noted a link between satisfaction levels and regular interaction with or frequent sightings of police in the local area.

It said: “Those who have direct interaction at least every three months are more likely to be satisfied (82 per cent, compared to 61 per cent overall), as are those who simply report seeing a police officer or PCSO on foot in their local area at least every three months (76 per cent) or monthly (81 per cent) in the past year.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly, those who are satisfied are also more likely to say that performance has got better over the past 12 months (13 per cent, compared to 8 per cent overall).”

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