21-22 MOPAC Youth Voice ‘We Are London’ Survey results

Finally, the findings of the 21-22 MOPAC Youth Voice ‘We Are London’ Survey have been published - https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/2023-10/MOPAC%20Youth%20Survey%20202122%20FINAL.pdf

‘We Are London’ is the most recent of MOPAC’s Youth Survey, capturing the voices of over 11,800 11-16 year olds growing up in London, providing unique insight into their experiences and perceptions of policing, crime and safety. The survey helps to highlight what matters most to young Londoners, and to give them a say in how their city is policed.

Findings are wide-ranging, calling attention to a diverse set of issues pertinent to young Londoners in the current climate:

  • Young Londoners are concerned about a range of crime issues, with hate crime, violence and drugs most often perceived to be ‘a big problem’ both at school and locally.
  • One in ten say they have personally been the victim of a crime in the last year.
  • Young people also perceive inequalities in safety, and are more likely to feel their area is a safe place ‘for men and boys’ than ‘for women and girls’ or ‘for children and young people’.
  • Early opinions of the police remain mixed – with trust and confidence standing below results seen for adult Londoners. Opinions have worsened compared with 2018 – particularly for young females – while fewer young Londoners now feel police treat everyone fairly.
  • Compared with 2018, fewer young Londoners now say they know others in a gang or who have carried a knife. However, a more consistent minority say they have been personally involved in these behaviours.
  • 6% of young Londoners say they have been stopped and searched, while wider support for the tactic remains mixed. The interaction within the encounter is crucial – those who had been stopped but felt the police were polite, respectful and explained the process were no more likely to say they had a bad opinion of the police than those not stopped. Whereas, when youth did not feel the police had shown these behaviours, half had a bad perception of the police.
  • A minority of young Londoners continue to believe sexual harassment or domestic abuse may be acceptable – in particular monitoring a partner’s phone or social media, or controlling their friendships.
  • Despite COVID-19 lockdowns, many young Londoners had personally experienced sexual harassment in the previous year, with a third experiencing sexual jokes or taunts, wolf-whistling, and unwanted sexual comments.
  • Almost nine in ten young people surveyed believed it was important for the police to work together with schools (88%)


Steven Sweeney BSc (Hons), MSc

Metropolitan Police Service, Frontline Policing Delivery Unit, Youth Policy Team