Significant drop in number of people worried about being a victim of crime, survey says

Significant drop in number of people worried about being a victim of crime, survey says

There has been a significant reduction in the number of people who worry about becoming a victim of crime, a public survey has found.

And there has been a drop in the percentage of people who say they have been a victim of crime, now standing at its lowest rate in the last four years.

The Garda Public Attitudes Survey for Q1 (Jan-March) 2019 also shows continuing high rates of satisfaction (75%) and trust (90%) in the organisation and a belief that gardaí are friendly or helpful (94%).

But 36% of people said community relations with the police were poor and 41% said gardaí were not dealing with things that matter to people in the community.

The survey found:

  • 55% of people said they do not worry about becoming a victim of crime – up from 46% in Q1 2018;
  • 16% said they believed local crime is a “serious” or “very serious” problem – compared to 20% in Q1 2018 and equalling the lowest rate since Q1 2015;
  • 71% said national crime was a serious or very serious problem – compared to 74% in Q1 2018;
  • 4.4% said they were a victim of crime – compared to 5.2% in Q1 2018 (and 7.9% in Q2 2018)
  • The figures show the reporting rate among victims has fluctuated over the last year, with 85% reporting it in Q1 2019, compared to 76% in Q3 2018 and 87% in Q1 2018.

    There has also been some fluctuation over the last year in people's satisfaction with gardaí after reporting a crime, with 66% satisfied in Q1 2019, compared to 59% in Q4 2018 and 64% in Q1 2018.

    Some 56% of victims who reported said they were given the right amount of information by gardaí, up from a low of 37% in Q3 2018 and 51% in Q1 2018.

    There has been no improvement in people's perception of garda patrols locally, but there has been a slight improvement in people's view that the garda presence locally is “about right” (42% in Q1 2019 compared to 39% in Q1 2018).

    Overall satisfaction rates have fallen slightly in the last year (from 81% to 79%).

    Issues include:

  • Some 75% of people said local police could be relied upon to be there when you need them (79% in Q1 2018);
  • 41% said the police were not dealing with things that matter to people locally, compared to 38% a year ago;
  • 36% said community relations with the police were poor, similar to a year ago (35%).
  • Trust levels continue to remain high (90%), while 95% said gardaí would treat them with respect if they had to contact them (the highest rate over the last four years).

    A further 94% said gardaí are friendly or helpful (same as a year ago), with pretty similar rates regarding gardaí being community focused (72%) and modern or progressive (67%).

    There was an increase in those who believe gardaí are effective in tackling crime (up from 65% to 67%).

    Against the backdrop of garda controversies, there has been a distinct improvement in the public's belief the organisation is well managed, up from 46% to 54%.

    However, there has been a drop in those who think the organisation provides a “world-class service”, down 44% to 41%.

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