Living in Lancashire wave 29

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Purpose To look at views on immigration and look at youth offending in Lancashire.
Subject Crime and community safety
Community cohesion
Commissioned by Corporate Research and Intelligence Team, Policy Unit
Geographic area All of Lancashire
Method Questionnaire - online
Questionnaire - postal
Consultation with Life in Lancashire panel
Date 09/06/2010 - 16/07/2010
Undertaken by Corporate Research and Intelligence Team, Policy Unit


Number in sample 2433
Number of responses 2073
Response rate 85%
Key findings The majority of people believe that immigration has increased over the last five years in Britain, Lancashire and their local area. The highest socio-economic groups are more likely to think that immigration levels have stayed the same in their local area.

Three fifths of respondents agree that Eastern European migrant workers tend to take jobs that British workers don't want and over two fifths agree that employment of migrant workers has driven down wages and working conditions.

Over a third of respondents agree that migrant workers have overstretched public services and that they get preference in the allocation of social housing.

Over two fifths of respondents agree that people from different backgrounds get on well together in their local area while around a quarter disagree.

Nearly a third of respondents stated that they have friends who are immigrants. However, two fifths said they don't but would not mind having some. Only one in ten would not want any immigrant friends. This proportion was higher for those in the lower socio-economic groups.

Three fifths of respondents feel that immigration is only a slight problem or not a problem at all in their area. However, 27% feel that immigration is a big problem.

Almost two fifths of respondents would like to see a decrease in the number of immigrants, and 22% would like to see all immigration stopped. This increases where respondents think immigration is having a negative effect on their area. Around a fifth say their opinion on the policy would depend on the kind of immigrants.

Public knowledge of the YOT is limited. Over half of respondents haven't heard of the YOT and, of those that have, around half don't know very much about it. Respondents with children are more likely to have heard of the YOT.

Respondents think the YOT is most effective at helping young people find somewhere to live and getting young people back into education and training, and least effective at helping young people before they commit an offence. Although respondents' top priorities for the YOT are helping young people before they commit an offence and stopping young people re-offending

Despite the fact that many people don't know a lot about the work of the YOT, only a third of respondents are interested in knowing more. The services that respondents would most like to know more about are engaging young people in positive activities and engaging young people in employment and training.

Over two fifths of respondents think that the amount of crime in their local area is about the same as two years ago. When asked what they based their opinion of the level of crime on, the most common response was local newspapers followed by responses based on experience (information from other people, personal experience and experiences of relatives and friends).

The most commonly perceived problem in local areas is groups of young people hanging around. Respondents in east Lancashire are more likely to identify drug dealing and usage as a problem, especially Pendle.

On the whole, respondents view young people in a positive light, especially thinking that most young people are law abiding and responsible.
Outcomes The Lancashire Community Cohesion Partnership (LCCP) brings together a range of public sector organisations to improve community relationships across Lancashire. The panel's views on immigration provide an important tool for the LCCP, to help understand common views and identify gaps where more accurate information needs to be provided. LCCP members will use the results to understand the gaps between reality and perceptions to help organisations improve communication and information about migration issues.

Perceptions of immigration very often reflect personal and group experience. LCCP members will use the survey results to monitor their services to make sure that fairness is at the heart of everything they do, for instance, improving staff training to make sure staff deal with everyone with fairness and respect.

The LCCP wants to initiate contact between different groups and communities. They will achieve this through school projects, community events and media products. These are the sources of information that the survey revealed are trusted the most.

An interesting finding from the survey was that many people think the level of immigration in Lancashire is a lot higher than it actually is. This is one of a number of myths about immigration that the LCCP's Mythbusting Project is aiming to change.

The Youth Offending Team are using the information provided by the survey to ensure they get their communications strategy right for the coming months.

Project document(s)



Contact information

For more information about this research contact:

Melissa Sherliker
01772 535019