‘Big crime issues’ within six divisions

SIX Garda divisions have both the lowest satisfaction with gardaí and the greatest fears in relation to crime.

A new survey found that, of 25 Garda divisions, Waterford/Kilkenny, Limerick, Dublin Metropolitan Region West, Carlow/Kildare, Cork City and Cork North have the biggest issues in relation to crime.

However, the survey of 10,000 people shows these divisions, apart from Dublin West, did not have the highest rates for recorded crime.

The Garda Public Attitudes Survey 2008, carried out by Millward Brown IMS for the Garda Research Unit, found overall satisfaction rates towards the gardaí was 81%, similar to 2007.

Satisfaction rates increased in 12 Garda divisions, but fell in 13. The highest rate was in Sligo/Leitrim (89%), while the lowest was in Waterford/Kilkenny (71%).

Limerick and Dublin West were behind Waterford/Kilkenny is terms of dissatisfaction.

People were also asked about their satisfaction with Garda visibility at local level. On average, 65% of people expressed satisfaction, a rise from 62% in 2007.

Increases in satisfaction levels were found in 15 divisions, while the rate fell in the other 10. Rates ranged from a high of 76.9% in Cavan/Monaghan to a low of 52.1% in Carlow/Kildare.

Clare, Cork West and Dublin Metropolitan Region East were at the top of the satisfaction table, while Waterford/Kilkenny and Dublin West featured at the bottom. They were joined by Cork City and Limerick, as well as Cork North.

This indicates people in the three main regional cities are unhappy with Garda visibility levels.

The survey found 74% of people felt safe walking in their neighbourhood after dark. People in Carlow/Kildare, Limerick, Waterford/Kilkenny and Cork City were among those feeling least safe going out at night. People in Waterford/Kilkenny and Limerick were also most afraid at home at night.

The survey found 37% of people feared being a victim of crime, while 44% feared family members of friends would be, the same as 2007.

Again, people in Limerick (51% and 53% respectively), Waterford/Kilkenny (49% and 56%), Cork North (48% and 61%), Carlow/Kildare (45% and 50%) and Dublin West (45% and 58%) were most worried.

The survey found, on average, 8.5% of people nationwide reported being a victim of crime.

Cork North (4.8%), Waterford/Kilkenny (6%), Carlow/Kildare (6.7%) and Cork City (7.3%) were all below the average. Limerick (10.4%) and Dublin West (11.3%) were above average.

Dublin South Central (19.3%) and Longford/Westmeath (14.5%) scored highest and Mayo (2.3%), and Cork West (3.2%) the lowest.

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