THE majority of people feel confident that Wiltshire Police is doing the best it can during the Covid19 pandemic, according to a public survey.

More than 2,800 people responded to the force's public survey last month, which aimed to find out more about opinions on policing during lockdown.

More than 80 per cent of respondents felt that engagement from their local policing team had either increased or stayed the same during the pandemic.

And almost 59 per cent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “I feel confident that Wiltshire Police are doing all they can to manage the policing response to Covid-19”.

However, concerns were raised by those who had reported breaches of lockdown to the police and felt that more should have been done to respond to those reports.

Less than one in five respondents had needed to contact police, but of those who did (518 people) only 30 per cent felt their matter was addressed fully.

Assistant Chief Constable Deb Smith said: “Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we have the support and confidence of our communities and I believe that the results of this survey show that we have been able to maintain that positive relationship with the public.

“Communication has been key and I am pleased to see that the vast majority of those who responded to the survey believe that our engagement has either stayed the same or increased during the pandemic.

“It is clear that our social media accounts are a large part of this, and I know that people have felt reassured that they have a trusted source to turn to during such worrying times.”

She added: “However, it is also clear that there are some areas which could have been better dealt with, particularly how we responded to those people who reported breaches of Covid-19 restrictions.

“We acknowledge that in the early stages we couldn’t deploy officers to every single report, we did not have the capacity to deal with that level of demand.

“Also, it is important to note that police forces across the country have been managing a difficult balancing act – we needed to respond to the concerns of the public, while ensuring we were behaving in a lawful and proportionate way.

“I’m not sure we always got that balance right, but we have tried our very best to focus on engagement over enforcement, and I do applaud all our officers and staff for their dedication and hard work during a difficult time.”