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Friday, 18 September 2020 10:10

Vic police not rated highly for ethics or honesty: Roy Morgan survey Featured


The Victoria Police do not rate highly among the citizens of the state when it comes to honesty or ethical standards, a survey by the well-known pollster Roy Morgan has found.

The survey, which was carried out to gauge several factors connected to the current lockdown in parts of the state due to the coronavirus pandemic, found that only 42% of Victorian residents rated the police as "very high" (11%) or high (31%) when it came to honesty and ethics.

A quarter of those surveyed rated the police either "low" (13%) or "very low" (12%). A further 33% gave the police an average rating for ethics and honesty.

The special Roy Morgan Snap SMS survey was conducted with a Victoria-wide cross-section of 2278 Victorians aged 18+ on 15 September and 16 September 16.

Back in 2017, when Roy Morgan surveyed the police about the image of various professions, the police were rated as the 8th most trusted, with 76% of those who participated rating the cops either as very high (27%) or high (49%).

The current survey also asked residents a number of other questions about the pandemic.

Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine said Victoria Police had attracted a degree of controversy in recent weeks after several videos of alleged COVID-19 lawbreakers being subject to potentially "heavy-handed" police action:

"The Victorian Police have been under the spotlight in recent weeks with videos circulating of a pregnant woman in Ballarat being arrested at home for a Facebook post, old ladies being confronted on park benches for not wearing masks, a woman being forcibly removed from her car after refusing to provide her driver's licence and a man under arrest in Epping who appeared to have his head stomped by one of the arresting police officers and was subsequently put into an induced coma," Levine said.

"It should be recognised that the police officer accused of stomping on the man under arrest in Epping has been suspended and is now under criminal investigation for the actions taken during the arrest by the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission.

"Given the media attention paid to these incidents in locked down Melbourne, it is no surprise that fewer Victorians than three years ago rate the Police either 'very high' or 'high' for ethics and honesty – now at 42%. This compares to a record high 76% in mid-2017 in the nationally conducted Roy Morgan Image of Professions survey.

"Views on the Victorian Police are nearly identical for ALP and L-NP supporters, but younger Victorians are the least likely to rate the police highly. Only 31% of Victorians aged under 35 rate the Police either 'very high' (4%) or 'high' (27%) for ethics and honesty while 32% rate them either 'low' (16%) or 'very low' (16%) – easily the highest of any age group."

Other questions in the survey resulted in the following responses:

A large majority of 71% (up 2% in a week) of L-NP supporters said Melburnians should now be able to visit the homes of their immediate families compared to 46% (down 4%) of ALP supporters and 53% (up 18%) of Greens supporters;

Two-thirds of L-NP supporters (66% – up 9%) said Melbourne residents should now be able to travel more than 5km from their home compared to 38% (down 8%) of ALP supporters and just 34% (down 1%) of Greens supporters; and

For the first time a slim majority of L-NP supporters (52% – up 11%) said the Melbourne night-time curfew from 9pm-5am should end now compared to just 27% (down 5%) of ALP supporters and only 24% (down 6%) of Greens supporters.

iTWire contacted Victoria Police for comment but the organisation said it had no comment to offer..

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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