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UK Insights

Is Britain’s trust crisis abating?

Luke Taylor

Head of Social and Political Attitudes

Policy 22.12.2015 / 15:36


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Trust in police and the BBC up from low in 2012

In 2012 we revealed data highlighting an unprecedented crisis of trust in Britain's major institutions, public figures and professions. Our research showed extremely low levels of trust in a raft of institutions. Three years on the police and BBC have seen improvements, but the majority of people still don't trust politicians to tell the truth.

Trust in senior police officers has increased from a low of 46% in December 2014 to a high of 59% in December 2015. As we previously discovered, women are more likely to trust senior police than men and this remains to be the case; 62% of women versus 56% of men. As we explored in 2012, this may be because women are much less likely to end up on the wrong side of the law, may find police a reassuring presence, may be more exposed to the police in their communities during the day, or a combination of these three factors.

When we conducted our trust poll in November 2012, three quarters of people (76%) did not trust senior members of the BBC to tell the truth. This was at the height of the Jimmy Saville scandal and then Director General, George Entwistle, had just resigned. In December 2015, this figure has fallen 10 percentage points (66%), 34% of people now say they would trust senior members of the BBC to tell the truth. Suggesting that the BBC management are starting to repair the damage caused by these scandals.

Over the last few tears, faith in politicians has slightly improved; 18% of British people now trust MPs in general to tell the truth, compared to 13% in November 2012. However, it should be noted that MPs in general and government ministers are only seen as slightly more trustworthy than tabloid journalists (14%) so politicians still have a lot to do in order to obtain the public's trust.

Source : Kantar

Editor's Notes

TNS Omnibus interviewed a representative sample of 1,194 adults in Great Britain between the 1st and 3rd December 2015. All interviews were conducted as online self-completion. The TNS Omnibus uses the Lightspeed GMI access panel as its sample source. The data was weighted to match population totals for age, sex, working status, presence of children, 2015 General Election voting patterns and region.

Journalists, detailed tables for this survey can be downloaded above, you can embed our chart in your website using </> button. Contact us for more information.

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