The majority of Londoners have a negative view of the Metropolitan Police Service, new polling has found, as the new Commissioner looks to rebuild trust and confidence in the force.
A new survey from the Centre for London thinktank and Savanta ComRes found that just 36 per cent of respondents believe the Met treats everyone fairly regardless of who they are.
Thirty-eight per cent said the police make fair decisions when dealing with local problems.
While half of respondents said they believe Scotland Yard is effective at dealing with major crimes, just 35 per cent think the police can be relied upon to deal with “minor” crimes.
The figures back up the most recent public perception survey published by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), which found that public trust and confidence in the Met had fallen to an all-time low in the wake of various scandals.
Former Met counter-terrorism lead Sir Mark Rowley was recently appointed as the new Met Commissioner following Cressida Dick’s resignation earlier this year.
Claire Harding, research director at Centre for London, said the new Commissioner’s arrival “must become an opportunity to make amends and modernise London’s police”.
She said: “It’s not surprising that only a minority of Londoners view the police positively. But it highlights the scale of reform we need to regain the public’s trust.
“More negative views of the Met among women and [global majority] Londoners show the huge damage that evidence of racism and misogyny within the force has done for their credibility – this is a tragedy in a city which takes pride in being safe, open and diverse.”
Centre for London’s survey revealed large disparities in how different groups perceive the Met, with women, younger people, Black and Asian Londoners less likely to agree that the police would treat them with respect than older, white or male peers.
Though London Mayor Sadiq Khan has insisted that Rowley is “determined to be a reforming Commissioner” and has put forward a “robust plan to rebuild trust and confidence in the police”, anti-racism campaigners fear he will offer “more of the same”.
Rowley has come under fire after comments from 2019 resurfaced in which he claimed it was “clumsy thinking” to conflate Islamophobia with racism following the Christchurch terror attack in New Zealand, in which 50 Muslims were murdered and 48 more seriously injured.
The new Commissioner has also previously been criticised for an appearance on BBC Newsnight last year, during which he claimed that extremism was being driven by a lack of integration among Muslim groups.