Less than half of people in Ireland have confidence in justice system

Less than half the population in Ireland are confident that people are brought to justice in the State, it has been revealed.

Some 46% of people aged 18 and over said they felt “very confident” or “quite confident” that that the wider criminal justice system has brought people who commit crimes to justice, while almost a fifth of people said they were “not confident at all”.

Feelings of confidence were highest among people aged 18 to 29, with the age group 45-59 years having the lowest levels of confidence.

The findings show that the lowest levels of confidence were felt by those living in very disadvantaged areas, with 38% of people in the most disadvantaged areas feeling “very” or “quite” confident that people are brought to justice in Ireland, compared to 53% of those living in the most affluent areas.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) published the results of its most recent Crime and Victimisation survey.

It reveals that one in 10 people said they had been a victim of a theft or attempted theft, an assault or a fraud crime in the last 12 months – while one in 25 households said they had suffered a burglary or vandalism to their property, with the highest rates in Dublin.

Three quarters say they felt safe walking in their local area at night, however the proportion of people who felt unsafe walking in their local area at night was higher for women than for men, and higher in more disadvantaged areas of the country.

More than two-thirds said they felt that gardai were “very effective” or “quite effective” at tackling crime in their local area.

The Dublin region had the highest reported rate of victimisation (13%) for personal crime, compared to a low of 5% in the border region.

Some 4% of victims believed the crime was motivated by race, religion or ethnicity, while 3% stated that they felt the crime was motivated by gender and 2% said they felt that age had been a motivating factor.

Statistician Sam Scriven said: “Crime and Victimisation is a household survey which asks about people’s experiences, perceptions and reactions to crime in Ireland.

“One in 10 said that they had been a victim of a violent or non-violent theft or attempted theft, an assault or a fraud crime in the 12 months prior to interview.

“Younger people were more likely to be a victim of these types of crime, 14% of persons aged 18-29 said they had been a victim compared to 5% of people aged over 60.

“One in 25 households said they had suffered either a burglary or vandalism to their property in the 12 months prior to interview, with the highest rates in Dublin and lowest rates in the Border and West regions – both 2%.

“Around six out of 10 households reported these incidents to An Garda Síochána, with the main reason given for non-reporting by households being that the incident wasn’t considered serious enough.”

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