Majority of People Say Local Crime is Not a Serious Problem
The number of people that believe local crime is not a problem has risen by 13 per cent since 2019, according to the 2022 Garda Public Attitude Survey.
The nationally representative survey found that 45% of people believed local crime is not a problem. This is higher than in both 2018 and 2019 (31% and 32% respectively) and similar to 2021 (46%).
According to respondents, national crime is seen as more of a problem than local crime.
In addition, 49% of people said they did not worry about becoming a victim of crime and most respondents (63%) reported having “no fears” or “very few fears” about crime. The majority (58%) said fear of crime had no impact on their quality of life.
The Garda Public Attitude Survey of 7,699 people, aged 18 years and over, and 389 young people (16 and 17) was undertaken in the second half of 2022 (August-December) by Behaviour and Attitudes (B&A) on behalf of An Garda Síochána.
Trust in An Garda Síochána remains high at 90% – similar to the last three surveys (2018, 2019 and 2021).
Satisfaction with An Garda Síochána also remains at a high level with 75% of respondents satisfied with Garda services provided to local communities. The highest level of satisfaction with Garda service was greatest for those aged 65 years and older, and for 18-24 year olds (78% and 80% respectively). In general, 90% believe that they would be treated with respect if they had any contact with An Garda Síochána, and 75% said Gardaí would treat you fairly regardless of who you are.
Also, 72% agreed that Gardaí can be relied to be there when they are needed. The majority of respondents said that Gardaí listen to concerns of local people (76%) and address the things that matter to local communities (74%).
91% of 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, age or nationality.
Domestic abuse was also rated as a high priority by 89% 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 2022, 79% agreed that An Garda Síochána is focused on human rights.
Other perceptions in 2022 show the majority agreed that An Garda Síochána is community focused (73%), effective in tackling crime (65%), and modern and progressive (73%).
In particular, there has been a notable increase in the view of respondents that the organisation is well managed – increasing from 48% in 2018 to 68% in 2022.
Speaking on the publication of the results, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said, “protecting victims of crime and continuing to strengthen our trusted relationship with the communities that we serve are extremely important for An Garda Síochána. Garda personnel nationwide work hard every day in what can at times be a difficult policing environment. The impact of this work can be seen in the positive views of the public reflected in the Public Attitudes Survey 2022.”
“Capturing the views of young people and their knowledge and experience of An Garda Síochána has been very useful for our organisation. I am pleased that the efforts of Community Engagement Units and Community Gardaí are having such a positive impact on how younger generations see our police service, and that they know that we are here to help.”
The Commissioner added, “the survey shows that most victims are satisfied with the service they receive from An Garda Síochána, but we must continue in our efforts to improve our service to victims, particularly in keeping them fully informed on how their case is progressing. We are taking steps to improve this.”
“Our ability to maintain one of the highest levels of public trust in a police service in the world, which is underscored by this survey, is an essential component of modern policing and in achieving our mission of keeping people safe.”
Source: An Garda Síochána