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Respect heads citizenship survey

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Respect for the law, tolerance and politeness towards others top the list of values in the latest DCLG Citizenship Survey.

The survey is the biggest of its kind in England and Wales and asks for people’s views about the local area, community cohesion, discrimination, values, interaction, civic engagement, volunteering and charitable giving.

Those surveyed were asked to choose up to five values that were important to them from a list of 16.

Results show that:

  • More than half of respondents chose respect for the law (57%) and tolerance and politeness towards others (56%)
  • White people (57%) and people from ethnic minority groups (58%) were similarly likely to cite respect for the law
  • More than a third of respondents chose equal opportunities (38%), freedom of speech (36%) and that everyone should speak English (36%).

The survey also reveals that an overwhelming majority of people (93%) feel part of British society with few differences between ethnic groups.

More than two-thirds (68%) agreed that it is possible to belong to Britain and have a separate religious or cultural identity.

Cohesion Minister Shahid Malik said: “Both local and central government has got to be more active in reaching out to, listening and involving people who too often feel neglected.

“That is why we are about to start a new drive in the toughest areas where the challenges are most acute to make sure unfairness, whether real or perceived, is tackled.”

Other findings:

  • 82% of people in England agreed their local area was a place where people from different backgrounds get on well together
  • Three quarters (75%) of people felt strongly that they belonged to their neighbourhood.
  • 32% felt ‘very safe’ walking alone after dark in their immediate neighbourhood
  • Most people considered their national identity to be English (60%) or British (44%).

The citizenship surveys on community cohesion, identity and values are produced every year and almost 15,000 people are asked for their views.

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