Public have high to medium level of trust in An Garda Síochána, survey finds




Almost nine in 10 people have a high to medium level of trust in An Garda Síochána, according to the Garda’s Public Attitudes Survey 2016 which was published today.

The survey identified a 2% increase in the number of respondents reporting ‘mid’ to ‘high’ levels of trust in the Garda from 86% in 2015 to 88% in 2016.

The positive perception of the effectiveness and capability of the organisation, however, have decreased.

51% of respondents disagreed that it provides a world-class service, 42% thought the organisation was not well managed and 59% of respondents thought that Garda presence in their local areas was not enough.

However, awareness of Garda patrols and perceptions of Garda presence increased with over one third of respondents reporting that Gardaí patrolled their local area regularly in 2016.

Most people had very few or no fears about crime but there was increased reporting of crime by victims.

It was identified that victimisation rates fell to 8% from 11% and 79% of crime victims reported their incident to An Garda Síochána in 2016, up from 75% in 2015.

The most common reason for non-reporting was a belief that a crime was not serious enough.

A breakdown of the main findings of the Garda’s Public Attitudes Survey 2016 are as follows:

  • 88% of respondents had a high to medium level of trust in An Garda Síochána
  • Respondents had a largely positive perception of An Garda Síochána with 61% agreeing it was community-focused, 55% modern or progressive, and 83% friendly or helpful
  • The majority of respondents said they were satisfied with the service provided to them (67%), while 27% were dissatisfied and 7% didn’t know or had no reply.
  • Over one-third (35%) of respondents reported that the Gardaí patrolled their local area regularly in 2016; 59% of respondents thought that Garda presence in their local areas was not enough.
  • 66% of people reported having some fear of the level of crime in general; 54% worried about becoming a victim of crime.
  • 8% of respondents, or 493, were victims of crime – a 3% decrease on 2015; Of those, 60 said they were victims on more than one occasion
  • Respondents highlighted priority crimes to be monitored as being robberies (91%), sexual offences (91%) and illegal weapons (90%).

The survey which contains views of 6,000 people and measures the changes in public sentiment towards An Garda Síochána from 2015 to 2016, found that fewer people in Ireland were victims of crime in 2016.

For the first time, the survey measured fear of crime and how it may impact on quality of life, as well as public awareness of Garda visibility.

Overall, 57% of victims were happy with how Gardaí handled their case in 2016, largely the same as last year.

More victims felt that sufficient information was provided to them in 2016 compared to 2015, however, satisfaction with how quickly the Gardaí respond to incidents dropped by 3% to 60%.

Crime was seen as a serious issue nationally according to 77% of respondents, but perceptions of crime locally as a very serious or serious problem fell between 2015 and 2016 from 31% to 24%.

Crime types the public would like Gardaí to prioritise most are robberies, sexual offences and illegal weapons.

The survey is conducted quarterly by Amárach Research on behalf of An Garda Síochána with a nationally representative sample of 1,500 people per quarter.


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