Police not trustworthy: Poll

By Drum Digital
08 March 2013

Most young South Africans do not trust the police, a survey released on Friday has found.

Fifty-three percent of youth surveyed did not trust police, 23 percent were afraid of the police, and 22 percent believed the police could be trusted, consumer insights company Pondering Panda found.

"Women were more likely than men to say they were afraid. Twenty-seven percent of female respondents claimed to be scared of the police, compared to 18 percent of males," the company said.

"In terms of race, black and white respondents felt equally fearful of the police, with almost one in four (24 percent) of both groups saying the police scared them."

Those perceptions were consistent across both age and location.

A total of 3003 people, aged between 15 and 34, were interviewed by cellphone across South Africa for the survey.

It found young people had strong opinions on police brutality, with 80 percent believing the beating and torturing of people at the hands of the police was something which often occurred.

"In comparison, 15 percent thought it was something that did not happen often, and only three percent believed it rarely happened."

Pondering Panda spokeswoman Shirley Wakefield said: "Young people are trapped between a high rate of crime and a police force they don't trust, a situation that can only lead to further disillusionment with South Africa's future.

"This situation needs to be addressed urgently if youth are to feel safe enough to co-operate with police and help reduce crime."

-by Sapa

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