97% of people believe sexual offences should be top priority for the Gardaí

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Kenneth Fox
97 per cent of people say that sexual offences should be the top priority for the Gardaí, according to the 2019 Garda Public Attitudes Survey.

It also found that overall, 90 per cent of people said they had trust in an Garda Síochána.

Less than 20 per cent of people say they perceive local crime as ‘serious’ or ‘very serious’, while the victimisation rate down was down to 4 per cent.

The survey of 6,000 people across 2019 found that 18 per cent of people believed local crime was a "serious” or "very serious” problem, which is a decrease from 2016 when the figure was 23 per cent.

The public’s perception of the seriousness of crime at a local level decreased again last year as did their concern about becoming a victim of crime, according to the survey.

In addition, 55 per cent of people said they did not worry about becoming a victim of crime. This is an increase from 2017 (48 per cent) and 2018 (49 per cent).


Meanwhile, trust in An Garda Síochána increased from 90 per cent in 2018 with 91 per cent of respondents to the 2019 survey saying they have a medium to high level of trust in the organisation.

Local communities

Satisfaction with An Garda Síochána remains at a high level with 80 per cent of respondents satisfied with Garda services to local communities. The highest level of satisfaction was among 18-24 year olds at 83 per cent.

The survey found that 16 and 17 years old are not as concerned about becoming victim of crimes as adults, that 88 per cent have a mid to high level of trust in An Garda Síochána, which is up 2 per cent on 2018, and 85 per cent were satisfied with the service from Gardaí.

90 per cent of 16 and 17 year olds also felt Gardaí would treat individuals with respect, and the same amount said Gardaí were "friendly and helpful”.

The survey found that 95 per cent of those surveyed believe that they would be treated with respect if they had any contact with An Garda Síochána, and 86 per cent said Gardaí would treat you fairly regardless of who you are

Human trafficking, illegal weapons and robbery featured highly across all demographics in terms of priorities for An Garda Síochána.

Commenting on the results, deputy commissioner of Policing & Security, John Twomey, said:

"As An Garda Síochána is focused on keeping people safe, it is very welcome to see there were fewer people concerned about crime and a decrease in the victimisation rate last year.

"This is also reflected in the strong trust in and satisfaction with the service we provide to communities. This is a testament to the hard work and effort by Garda personnel on a daily basis.

"The benefit of our approach of policing by consent and in partnership with communities can also be seen in that the public strongly believes we would treat them and others fairly and with respect."

He said the perception of An Garda Síochána among young people is also very positive, with trust and satisfaction levels remaining high among that age group. It is vital that we work hard as an organisation to maintain this.

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