More than a third of people have not seen a police officer or community support officer on the beat in their area for the past year, according to new figures.
The survey of more than 17,000 people in England and Wales also provided the latest indication of public views on police visibility.
Research found two in five people in England and Wales believe crime and anti-social behaviour are a big problem in their area.
The survey was commissioned by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) to assess the public’s perceptions of police and crime in 2018.
The percentage of people who believe crime and anti-social behaviour in their area is a ‘very big’ or ‘quite a big’ problem also rose from 30 per cent in 2017 to 40 per cent last year.
Respondents are split as just over half (56 per cent) believe there is not much of a problem, or none at all, the report said.
It added: ‘Nonetheless, compared to 2017, more people now think that crime and ASB (anti-social behaviour) are a problem.