Survey shows public's opinion of Gardaí fell in first six months of 2017

The public's opinion of Gardaí and their work declined in the first half of this year, according to the latest Garda Public Attitudes Survey.

The survey shows the biggest drop was in how well the force is managed.

This survey, which was conducted by Amarach Research on behalf of An Garda Síochána, looks at the first six months of this year.

It shows that the public's opinion of the force fell in all areas, but the biggest drop was in how well it was managed.

People also think the organisation is less friendly or helpful, less community focused and less modern or progressive.

There was no change in how effective people feel gardaí have been in tackling crime.

If those figures are compared with the ones from the same time last year, satisfaction levels with service from the force have actually increased 6%.

Also, according to the Garda Public Attitudes Survey, perceptions of the organisation have been generally higher in 2017 than in 2016.

The main findings of An Garda Síochána’s Public Attitudes Survey for Q2 2017 are:

Victims of Crime

- In Q2 2017, the victimisation rate was 5.7%. This compares with a rate of 9% for the same quarter last year.

- Satisfaction among victims of crime who reported their crime to An Garda Síochána rose 9% from 52% in Q2 2016 to 61% in Q2 2017.

- During Q2 2017, 86% of victims interviewed said they had reported their most recent crime incident compared to 76% in Q2 2016.

- The majority of victims (56%) felt the right amount of information had been provided to them. This is a 9% increase from Q2 2016.

Perceptions of Crime

- In Q2 2017, 76% of people perceived national crime to be either a very serious or serious problem down 3% from the same period in 2016.

- In Q2 2017, 19% of respondents considered crime in their local area to be a very serious or serious problem. This is compared to 25% in Q2 2016.

Fear and Worry about Crime

- During Q2 2017 nearly half (49%) of respondents said they did not worry about becoming a victim of crime – this is a 1% increase from Q2 2016.

- 73% of people reported that their fear of crime had no impact on their quality of life – this is a 12% increase from Q2 2016.

Garda Visibility

- In Q2 2017, 36% of respondents were aware of Garda patrols in their local area – this is a 2% increase from Q2 2016.

- In Q2 2017, 45% of respondents considered Garda presence in their local area to be at about the right level. This is an increase of 10% from Q2 2016.

Equality of treatment - the following two questions were asked for the first time in Q1 2017.

- 90% of respondents in the Q2 2017 survey said they felt members of An Garda Síochána would treat them with respect if they had contact with them for any reason. This was down 3% from Q1 2017.

- When asked if Gardaí in their area treat everyone fairly regardless of who they are, 81% of people agreed. This was down 3% from Q1 2017.

Satisfaction with An Garda Síochána

- In Q2 2017, 71% of respondents said they were either very satisfied or satisfied with the service provided by An Garda Síochána to local communities. This is up 6% from Q2 2016. It is down 3% from Q1 2017.

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