Number of people falling victim to crime decreasing – survey

Majority of public do not believe An Garda Síochána is a world class police service

Less than half of those surveyed (46 per cent) believe An Garda Síochána  is well managed.

Less than half of those surveyed (46 per cent) believe An Garda Síochána is well managed.

 

The number of people who fall victim to crime has continued to decrease but the majority of the public do not believe An Garda Síochána represents a world class police service, the latest survey on the force has found.

Despite recent concerns regarding public confidence in the Garda on foot of several controversies, the results show 89 per cent of people held “mid-to-high levels of trust”.

General satisfaction has been rising steadily since the public attitude surveys began at the start of 2016.

The latest poll - carried out by Amárach Research and examining the overall public mood for 2017 - appears to bear that pattern out, although some shortfalls remain.

Fewer people said they were victim to crime last year compared to 2016 (a decline of 2 per cent, and of 5 per cent on 2015), while reporting levels to gardaí also climbed from 75 per cent in 2015 to 84 per cent last year.

Burglary remained the most commonly reported offence followed by other forms of robberies such as car theft.

The latest analysis found that 62 per cent of people believed the force was effective with 42 per cent agreeing it was a “world class” police service. Less than half (46 per cent) believe it is well managed.

Amárach conducts quarterly analysis for An Garda Síochána, surveying 1,500 people at a time, or 6,000 for the year.

At the beginning of 2017, just over half of people believed the Garda was effective at tackling crime and 38 per cent that it provided a world-class service.

Deputy commissioner John Twomey noted the latest results showed a continued decrease in the number of those who had been victim to crime and welcomed a rise in reporting rates.

“We do recognise though that there are areas for improvement such as keeping victims properly informed and visibility in the community, and we are working on measures to address these,” he said.

The survey found 58 per cent of people were satisfied with how their cases were handled last year. Three quarters (74 per cent) described crime as being a serious or very serious problem, although just 20 per cent believed that to be a case on a local level.

The report reflected well on gardaí in terms of public interaction - the overwhelming majority (92 per cent) agreed officers treated people with respect and 82 per cent that people are treated fairly regardless of whom they are.

In terms of perceptions, 60 per cent of people said they had some level of fear over crime in general and this was most common in the Munster area.

Sexual offences, human trafficking and assault were the three priority crime areas for the public in that order.