HPU Poll: North Carolinians Rate Police on Stopping Crime, Equal Treatment and Other Areas

HIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 18, 2015 – A new High Point University Poll is reporting North Carolinians’ views on how well police departments in the state are doing on different aspects of their jobs. Respondents gave the highest marks to police departments’ performance at protecting people from crime, but they are split on how well those same departments are doing at treating racial and ethnic groups equally.
Sixty-five percent of North Carolinians say that police departments in the state are doing an excellent or good job at protecting people from crime, while 33 percent say they are doing only a fair or poor job. Fifty-six percent of North Carolinians believe that when it comes to respecting people’s privacy, police departments in the state do an excellent or good job.
 
When asked how police departments are doing in treating racial and ethnic groups equally, the results were split. Less than half of respondents (47 percent) said that police departments are doing an excellent or good job, while 48 percent believe that police departments are doing only a fair or poor job.
 
Respondents to this poll were also asked how well police departments in North Carolina hold officers accountable when misconduct occurs, as well as using the right amount of force for each situation. In both cases, at least half (50 percent and 52 percent, respectively) rated police departments’ performance as excellent or good.
 
“Many North Carolinians say they feel protected from crime by police departments in the state, and respondents overall gave high marks on other aspects of police conduct,” says Brian McDonald, assistant director of the HPU Poll and adjunct instructor. “But just as recent events here in North Carolina and around the country have prompted debates about fairness and equality of treatment, there is a division evident in the poll between those who see police treating people equally and those who do not.”
All adults – Evaluation of North Carolina Police Departments (November 2015)
 
We’re interested in how good a job you think police departments here in North Carolina are doing in some different areas. For each item, please tell me whether you think police departments here in North Carolina are doing an excellent, good, only fair, or poor job?
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(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed November 7 – 12, n = 610 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4 percent)
 
The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Nov. 7 – 12, 2015. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 610 adults with landline or cellular telephones. The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire this sample. The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 4 percentage points for all adult respondents. The data is weighted toward population estimates for cellular and landline telephone use, age, gender and race. In addition to sampling error, factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls.
 
Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/. The materials online include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010. Details from this survey are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2015/11/42memoB.pdf.
 
The HPU Poll reports methodological details in accordance with the standards set out by AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative, and the HPU Survey Research Center is a Charter Member of the Initiative. For more information, see
 
You can follow the HPU Poll on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HPUSurveyCenter.
 
Dr. Martin Kifer, assistant professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Brian McDonald serves as the assistant director of the HPU Poll.
 
To view video of the HPU Survey Research Center, click here.
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