Public trust in gardaí remains high, survey shows

Poll commissioned by the Garda finds only 36% of people think the force is well managed

Public trust in An Garda Síochána remains very high, according to a survey carried out on behalf of the Garda by Amárach Research. However, the public does not think the force is well managed.

According to the company, mid-range to high levels of trust in gardaí remain stable at 89 per cent.

The survey was carried out in the third quarter of this year among 1,500 adults aged 18 and over. They were interviewed face-to-face in their homes, and the results were weighted by age, gender, social class and nationality.

The findings are in line with previous surveys that found similar degrees of trust varying between 89 to 92 per cent. Amárach describes the findings as accurate, plus or minus 2.53 per cent.


The survey found satisfaction with gardaí had increased fractionally to 69 per cent, which was up 1 per cent from the same third quarter in 2016, but down 2 per cent from the preceding quarter this year.

As regards perceptions of gardaí, 84 per cent agreed that gardaí were “friendly or helpful” (down 3 per cent), while 63 per cent agreed that the Garda organisation was “community-focused” (up 1 per cent).

Tackling crime

Meanwhile, 58 per cent said they thought An Garda Síochána was a “modern or progressive” organisation (up 2 per cent), and 55 per cent said they thought it was “effective in tackling crime” (up 5 per cent).

However, only 36 per cent of people surveyed thought An Garda Síochána was “well managed” (down 5 per cent) and 35 per cent thought the force provided a “world-class police service” (no change).

Almost half of those surveyed, 47 per cent, said they did not worry about becoming a victim of crime, with 70 per cent of people stating that fear of crime had no impact on their life.

While 76 per cent of people said they perceived crime nationally to be “a very serious or serious problem”, only 21 per cent said they considered crime in their own area to be a serious or very serious problem.

The number of people who said they were victims of crime fell year-on-year from 7.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2016 to 6.7 per cent in the same period this year.


The results were welcomed by deputy Garda commissioner with responsibility for policing and security John Twomey.

“The survey shows less people are saying they have been victims of crime, and perceptions of crime as being a serious problem nationally and locally are falling.

“This shows the value of our approach to tackling key crimes impacting on communities. However, this does not mean we will be complacent. Far from it. As we head into winter we need to work even harder to ensure the communities we serve – both rural and urban – feel protected and are protected.”

Peter Murtagh

Peter Murtagh

Peter Murtagh is a contributor to The Irish Times