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Perception of gardaí improved

Wednesday, 6th December, 2017 6:03pm

The number of people who have a positive perception of An Garda Síochána has risen, according to a new survey.

An Garda Síochána’s Public Attitudes Survey for the third quarter (Q3) of 2017 showed an improvement in perceptions of the garda organisation across three of the six measures of effectiveness and capability between Q3 2016 and Q3 2017.

84 per cent of respondents agreed that members of An Garda Síochána were friendly or helpful (down three per cent from Q3 2016), 63 per cent agreed that the organisation was community focused (up one per cent), 58 per cent thought the organisation was modern or progressive (up two per cent), 55 per cent said it was effective in tackling crime (up five per cent), 36 per cent said it was well managed (down five per cent), and 35 per cent thought An Garda Síochána provided a world-class police service (no change).

There was a two per cent increase between Q2 2017 and Q3 2017 in providing a world class service and a decline between Q2 2017 and Q3 2017 in terms of the organisation being friendly or helpful (down one per cent), well managed (down six per cent) and a five per cent decrease in providing a world class police service. There was no change in the remaining criteria - effective in tackling crime, community focused, modern or progressive.

The survey also showed a drop in the victimisation rate from 7.8 per cent to 6.7 per cent.

According to the survey, the vast majority of people – 70 per cent - say that fear of crime has no impact on their quality of life. This is a five per cent increase from the same quarter in 2016. Nearly 40 per cent of people have no fear about crime in general and 47 per cent of people do not worry about becoming a victim of crime.

The survey found a year-on-year reduction in the number of people who considered crime to be a very serious or serious problem in their area. Trust in An Garda Síochána remains high at 89 per cent, and there has been an improvement in the perceptions of the garda organisation as being community focused, modern and progressive, and effective in tackling crime.

The survey did however find a 14 per cent decrease, from 64 per cent to 50 per cent, in satisfaction among victims with how their situation was handled when they reported their crime to gardaí. The Garda Public Attitudes Survey, which is conducted by Amárach Research on behalf of An Garda Síochána, was conducted between July and September of this year.

Deputy Commissioner of Policing and Security John Twomey welcomed the improvements but said: “As we head into winter, we need to work even harder to ensure the communities we serve feel protected and are protected. It is a concern to see such a large fall in victim satisfaction. This is something that we will be monitoring very closely and working to ensure that victims get the service and supports they need, deserve and are entitled to.”

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