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Monday 6 February 2023 Dublin: 3°C
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# An Garda Síochána
Sexual crimes and domestic abuse top policing priorities for public, garda survey finds
91% of those surveyed said they had trust in An Garda Síochána.

SEXUAL CRIMES AND domestic abuse were the top two policing priorities for gardaí identified by members of the public last year, a survey has found. 

Published today, the An Garda Síochána Public Attitudes Survey was conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes (B&A) on behalf of the force in the second half of 2021.

Of the 7,565 people aged 18 and over surveyed, 90% were of the opinion that sexual offences should be the top policing priority for gardaí. This was the case regardless of gender, social class or nationality.

Domestic abuse was rated as a high priority by 87% of respondents. Human trafficking, illegal weapons and assaults also featured highly across all demographics in terms of priorities for the force. 

The survey also found that 91% of respondents said they had trust in gardaí, the same level as 2019.

78% of respondents said they were satisfied with Garda services provided to local communities. 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 86% recorded in 2019. 80% of respondents said that gardaí listen to concerns of local people. 

Less than 20% of those surveyed believed local crime was a “serious” or “very serious” problem, while 48% of respondents said they did not worry about becoming a victim of crime, a decrease of 7% on 2019’s figure of 55%.

The victimisation rate for 2021 was 6.5%, an increase on 4.4% in the 2019 survey. Of the 7,656 respondents, 499 were victims of crime. Of those, 59% of respondents were satisfied with how gardaí handled their case – a slight decrease from 2019 (61%).

There was an 81% reporting rate to gardaí, a slight increase on 80% in 2019. Just over half (51%) felt that the information received from the force during their incident was satisfactory, a decrease of 3% from 2019.

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%).

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said the survey results and the 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,” Harris said.

“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.”

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