Young people don’t trust the police: survey

By Drum Digital
04 December 2013

Young people in South Africa have little to no trust of the police men and women.

One in 10 young South Africans trust the police, according to a survey by consumer rights company Pondering Panda.

"It's very concerning how few young South Africans trust the police --the majority only trust them in certain situations, and as many as a third don't trust the police under any circumstances," spokeswoman Shirley Wakefield said in a statement on Wednesday.

"If younger people feel they can't trust the police, or rely on them, they are more likely to take matters into their own hands -- as we have seen in the vigilantism that continues to occur in communities across South Africa."

Pondering Panda interviewed 3991 people, between the age of 18 and 34, across the country by cellphone between November 4 and 11.

Eleven percent of respondents said they trusted the police most or all of the time. Fifty-three percent said they only sometimes trusted the police, and 33 percent said they never trusted the police.

The survey found that responses to the question differed only slightly among race groups.

"Younger coloured and black South Africans were the least likely to trust the police, with 10 percent and 11 percent, respectively, saying they trusted the police most or all of the time," the company said.

"In comparison, whites were more trusting, with 15 percent saying they trusted the police."

By province, respondents were most trusting of the police in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape, with 17 percent of respondents in each province saying they trusted the police most or all of the time.

Respondents in Gauteng were the least trusting of police, with just seven percent saying they trusted them.

Trust in the police was also low in KwaZulu-Natal (eight percent) and the North West (nine percent).

Wakefield said that if the government wanted to restore faith in the police, it needed to improve police discipline and training, and show that communities could turn to the police for help.

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