Victimisation Rate and Fear of Local Crime Fall to Lowest Levels Since Q1 2015 – Garda Public Attitudes Survey - Q4 survey 2018
- 4.5% victimisation rate - the lowest since Q1 2015
- 16% believe local crime is a serious or very serious problem - the lowest since Q1 2015
- 80% of people satisfied with Garda service to their local community
- The public’s trust in An Garda Síochána remains high at 89%.
- The number of victims reporting their crime to Gardaí stood at 89%, the highest since Q4 2016.
The number of people who said they were a victim of crime has fallen to its lowest level since Q1 2015, according to the latest Garda Public Attitudes Survey.
The Q4 2018 Garda Public Attitudes Survey has found the victimisation rate was 4.5%. This is the lowest quarterly victimisation rate since the survey was re-launched.
In addition, 16% of respondents to the Q4 survey considered crime in their local area to be a very serious or serious problem, the lowest level since Q1 2015. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of respondents perceive national crime to be a very serious or serious problem. This divergent perception of the seriousness of local and national crime has been a result across multiple quarterly public attitudes surveys.
The vast majority of people - 63% - say that fear of crime has no impact on their quality of life, an increase of 3% between the last two survey sweeps.
The number of people reporting their crime to Gardaí stood at 89%, the highest since Q4 2016.
Eight in ten respondents interviewed between October and December 2018 were satisfied with the service provided by An Garda Síochána to local communities.
During Q4 2018, satisfaction among victims of crime who reported their crime to Gardaí stood at 59%, an increase of 4% when compared to the same quarter of 2017. Half of victims interviewed felt the right amount of information had been provided to them.
The public’s trust in the organisation remains very high at 89%.
While the vast majority of respondents believe Gardaí would treat you with respect if you had contact with them for any reason, there has been a decrease in the perception that the organisation treats everyone fairly, regardless of who they are, over recent survey sweeps.
The Q4 survey also found that 70% of survey respondents agreed that Gardaí in their area can be relied upon to be there when you need them, this has decreased 6% since Q3 2018. While 80% agreed that the Gardaí in this area listen to the concerns of local people.
Over one third of respondents (36%) agreed that community relations with the police were poor, while 40% agreed that the Gardaí are not dealing with things that matter to people in the local community.
During Q4 2018 the majority of respondents had positive views about the capability of An Garda Síochána to be friendly and helpful (93%), community focused (71%), modern or progressive (66%), effective in tackling crime (66%) and well managed (51%). Over 40% (43%) said the organisation provides a world class police service.
Commenting on the survey results, Deputy Commissioner Policing & Security, John Twomey, said: "The falls in the victimisation rate and concern about crime locally are very welcome. As is the continuing high satisfaction with the service we provide locally and overall trust in the organisation. This is a tribute to the great work of our people throughout the country. We increased the number of Gardaí on the front-line in 2018 to enhance visibility in communities. This will be a key focus again in 2019 as will delivering policing services in line with the individual needs of communities.”
The main findings of An Garda Síochána’s Public Attitudes Survey for Q4 2018:
Perceptions of Crime
- 74% of people perceived national crime to be either a very serious or serious problem, compared to 16% of respondents who considered crime in their local area to be a very serious or serious problem.
Victims of Crime
- The victimisation rate was 4.5%. This compares with a rate of 6.2% for the same quarter last year.
- Satisfaction among victims of crime who reported their crime to An Garda Síochána stood at 59%, an increase of 4% from the same period last year.
- 89% of victims interviewed said they had reported their most recent crime incident.
- 50% of victims felt the right amount of information had been provided to them.
Fear and Worry about Crime
- More than one in three respondents (31%) reported that they had no fear about crime in general, down from 40% during Q4 2017.
- 63% of people reported that their fear of crime had no impact on their quality of life – down from 68% in Q4 2017.
- Over half (52%) of respondents said they did not worry about becoming a victim of crime whether that is of a crime involving personal injury, property theft or damage, or indeed both – this has trended upwards over recent survey sweeps.
- 38% of respondents were aware of Garda patrols in their local area.
- 39% of respondents considered Garda presence in their local area to be at about the right level.
Satisfaction with An Garda Síochána
- 80% of respondents (76% when don’t knows are included) said they were either very satisfied or satisfied with the service provided by An Garda Síochána to local communities.
- 70% agreed that Gardaí in this area can be relied upon to be there when you need them and 80% agreed that the Gardaí in this area listen to the concerns of local people.
- Approximately 1 in 3 (36%) believed that community relations with police are poor and 40% agreed that police are not dealing with the things that matter to people in this community.
Trust in An Garda Síochána
- 89% of respondents stated they had a mid to high level of trust in An Garda Síochána.
Equality of treatment
- 93% of respondents said they felt members of An Garda Síochána would treat them with respect if they had contact with them for any reason.
- When asked if Gardaí in their area treat everyone fairly regardless of who they are, 77% of people agreed. This drops to 62% when don’t know responses are included. This has decreased each quarter since Q4 2017.
Perceptions of the Garda Organisation
- 93% of respondents agreed that members of An Garda Síochána were friendly or helpful (+2% from Q4 2017), 71% agreed that the organisation was community focused (no change from Q4 2017), 66% thought the organisation was modern or progressive (+2% from Q4 2017), 66% said it was effective in tackling crime (+4% from Q4 2017), 51% said it was well managed (+6% from Q4 2017), and 43% thought An Garda Síochána provides a world-class police service (no change from Q4 2017).
The Garda Public Attitudes Survey, which is conducted by Amárach Research on behalf of An Garda Síochána, asks a nationally representative sample of 1,500 people each quarter their views on a range of issues relating to An Garda Síochána. The Q4 2018 survey was conducted between October and December of 2018.
The Q4 2018 Public Attitudes Survey Bulletin is available from www.garda.ie or on request from the Garda Press Office.
It must be noted that as analysis is done on smaller proportions such as victims of crime – for instance 68 respondents to the Q4 survey experienced victimisation in the previous 12 months – the margin of error increases, therefore such changes should be interpreted with caution.
The Garda Public Attitudes Survey was re-launched in November 2014 with annual 2015 results published at the end of that year. Quarterly Bulletins have been published since Q1 2017. Previous to this, An Garda Síochána conducted large scale annual surveys from 2002 to 2008.