Washington, DC – The Pew Research Center released a new poll on Tuesday that revealed that Americans’ opinions on defunding the police have changed drastically since last year.
The Pew poll, conducted in September, found that 47 percent of Americans surveyed thought spending on police should be increased, up from 31 percent who thought police funding should be boosted in June of 2020.
Similarly, support for defunding the police has dropped.
Only 15 percent of adults said they wanted to decrease spending on police in September as opposed to 25 percent of adults who supported defunding in June of last year, according to the survey.
Six percent now advocate reducing spending on law enforcement by “a lot,” whereas 12 percent wanted to drastically cut funding in June of 2020.
Pew’s poll found that 37 percent of adults now said they thought spending should stay the same, down from 42 percent last year.
The survey found that black Americans and Democrats have changed their opinion on reducing police spending for local law enforcement more than white, Hispanic, or Republican adults, Pew Research Center said.
The share of black people polled who advocate decreasing police spending in their communities dropped 19 percentage points, from 42 percent to 23 percent, between June of 2020 and this September, according to the survey.
Pew Research said that number included a 13-point drop in the share who said funding should be decreased a lot, from 22 percent in 2020 to 9 percent in 2021.
The poll showed the most notable drops in support were among black adults and people age 18 to 49, Business Insider reported.
Both of those demographics had plurality support when Pew asked the same question in June of 2020 about police funding.
The survey also showed the share of Democrats who think local police funding should be decreased dropped similarly, from 41 percent in June of 2020 to 25 percent now.
Interestingly, the survey showed that black and Hispanic Democrats were more likely than white Democrats to advocate for increased spending on police in their area, according to Pew.
The survey showed 38 percent of black Democrats surveyed and 39 percent of Hispanic Democrats polled wanted to increase spending on local police.
However, only 32 percent of white Democrats wanted to see increase spending on police in their area.
Pew said there was no significant different in race or the ethnicities of those who advocated for decreased spending on police.
On the GOP side, 64 percent of white Republicans and 53 percent of Hispanic Republicans support increasing spending on local police, according to the survey.
Pew Research Center said its poll showed that the age gap in views on police funding has widened in the past year “mainly because views have shifted more dramatically among those ages 50 and older.”
The share of adults 50 and older who want to increase police spending has jumped 22 percentage points, from 37 percent to 59 percent, since June of 2020, the survey found.
However, the share of adults under 50 who want to increase police spending only increased by 10 percent, from 26 percent to 36 percent.
There has been a drop in support for defunding police in both age groups, Pew Research said.
“Both age groups have seen a drop-off in support for reduced spending on local police,” the survey results read. “These age patterns are similar among white and black adults, as well as across parties.”
Pew’s latest research found that “Americans’ changing attitudes about police spending in their area have occurred amid rising public concern about violent crime.”
Sixty-one percent of adults said violent crime was “a very big problem in the country today” in July, up from 58 percent in April of this year, according to survey data.
Only 41 percent of adults said crime was “a very big problem” in June of 2020, Pew’s data showed.