Perception of national crime higher than local crime

Garda public attitudes survey finds 75% of people see national crime as serious

Irish people's perception of crime as a problem throughout the country continues to be far higher than in their own communities, the latest survey on people's opinions of An Garda Síochána has found.

In the second quarter of this year (April to June), 75 per cent of those polled saw national crime as either a serious or very serious problem, a trend that has remained “relatively stable”.

By comparison, just 22 per cent said they considered local crime to be of the same level of seriousness, although that had increased by 2 per cent on the first quarter.

"Survey respondents continue to perceive national crime as a more serious problem compared to crime in their local area," according to the An Garda Síochána Public Attitudes Survey.


The research is conducted on a quarterly basis, polling 1,500 people on a range of issues aimed at measuring how the public feel about its police force.

Almost half of those questioned (49 per cent) said they did not worry about being a victim of crime and 36 per cent said they had no worries about the levels of crime in general, a fall of 5 per cent.

While the perception of national crime continues to be an issue, the same cannot be said of the public view of gardaí which has been generally positive in the latest survey following years of controversy.

More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of respondents reported being satisfied with the service provided to local communities, while 74 per cent agreed gardaí could be relied upon “to be there when you need them”.

During the second quarter, 88 per cent of those polled said they had a mid to high level of trust in the force.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times