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An Garda Síochána Public Attitudes Survey 2021

The public’s perception of the seriousness of crime at a local level has decreased again this year, according to the 2021 Garda Public Attitudes Survey. The survey has also found that trust in and satisfaction with An Garda Síochána remained high.

The survey of 7,656 people, aged 18 years and over, in the second half of 2021 (July-December) found that 19% of people believed local crime was a “serious” or “very serious” problem. This is a decrease from 2017 when the figure was 20%, however, it was similarly reflected in both 2018 and 2019.

In addition, 48% of people said they did not worry about becoming a victim of crime. This is a decrease from 2018 (49%) and 2019 (55%). The victimisation rate for 2021 is 6.5%, up from 4.4% in 2019.

Trust in An Garda Síochána remains the same as in 2019, which was an increase from 89% in 2018. Satisfaction with An Garda Síochána remains at a high level with 78% of respondents satisfied with Garda services provided to local communities.

There was an increase in those who were ‘very satisfied’ with An Garda Síochána in 2021 (19%), from 11% in 2019, and 10% the two previous years. The highest level of satisfaction was among 18-24 year olds (83%).

In general, 91% of those surveyed believe that they would be treated with respect if they had any contact with An Garda Síochána, and 77% said Gardaí would treat you fairly regardless of who you are.

Also, 77% agreed that Gardaí can be relied to be there when they are needed, a slight increase on 2019 (76%). The vast majority of respondents said that Gardaí listen to concerns of local people (80%).

90% of all respondents were of the opinion that sexual offences should be the top policing priority for An Garda Síochána. This was the case regardless of gender, social class or nationality. Domestic abuse, hate crime and road safety were new priority areas in the 2021 survey, with domestic abuse rated as a high priority by 87% of respondents, second only to sexual offences.

Human trafficking, illegal weapons and assaults featured highly across all demographics in terms of priorities for An Garda Síochána.

In 2021, 80% agreed that An Garda Síochána is focused on human rights, the first time this was included in the survey.

There continued to be an increase in the number of people who said that An Garda Síochána is community focused (77%), effective in tackling crime (72%), well managed (69%), and modern and progressive (75%).

In particular, there was a 10% increase from 2019 in the view of respondents that the organisation was well managed.

Welcoming the results published, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said, “these survey results and the consistently high level of public trust in An Garda Síochána are a strong reflection of the hard work and dedication of Garda personnel nationwide. The COVID-19 pandemic was an incredibly trying time for society and Gardaí worked tirelessly to keep people safe. They provided vital support to some of the most vulnerable during this time. I do not doubt that the impact of this work can be seen in the many positive results.”

“Our prime focus continues to be on protecting the victims of crime and building on our strong, trusted relationship with the communities that we serve. The survey does show though that we need to improve how we engage with victims of crime. Based on these results, we are putting in place a series of measures to make sure that victims are kept fully informed on how their case is progressing.”

Source: An Garda Síochána


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