Leah Farrell/

Less than half of Irish public think An Garda Síochána is well-managed

A new garda survey found a high level of trust in gardaí with 75% of people saying officers in their area can be relied on to be there when needed.

A NEW GARDA survey has revealed a large proportion of the Irish public still do not believe the organisation is well-managed.

The public attitudes survey for 2018 shows 48% of respondents believe the force is well-managed, while just 44% believe it provides a world-class policing service.

The percentage of people who believe the force is well-managed went up slightly (two points) on the previous year.

There has been an almost 10% increase (to 80%) in satisfaction with An Garda Síochána since 2016 and 90% of respondents said they trusted the force. 

The survey found the majority of people believe gardaí would treat them with respect if they had contact with them and three-quarters agreed that gardaí in their area can be relied on to be there when they are needed.

There were 348 respondents who had been victimised in the preceding 12 months (out of 6,000), representing a victimisation rate of 6% – no change from the 2017 survey. 

The victimisation rate has declined steadily (except for the noticeable peak in quarter two of 2018) from the beginning of 2016 to the end of 2018.

There was an 84% reporting rate to gardaí and there was an increase in the rate of victim satisfaction with how their cases were handled, from 58% in 2017 to 63% last year. 

The public’s perception of the seriousness of crime both at national and local levels have decreased over the last two years, with 19% of people saying local crime is a serious or very serious problem, down 4% since 2016. 

The survey also found 86% of 16 and 17-year-olds are satisfied with the service provided by gardaí and they have less fear of crime than adults. 

The majority of respondents considered that the gardaí are community-focused (72%), friendly and helpful (92%), effective in tackling crime (64%) and modern or progressive (68%).

Commenting on the survey, Deputy Commissioner Policing and Security, John Twomey, said the “largely positive results” reflect the great work done by garda personnel every day to keep people safe.

“This can be most clearly seen in the reduction in victimisation and the fall in concerns about crime at national and local level,” he said. 

Trust in, and satisfaction with, An Garda Síochána is very high by international standards. This is as a result of the close connections we have with communities. It also very welcome to see how positive young people are towards An Garda Síochána. It is vital that we work hard to maintain this.

“We will continue to work with those communities and all our stakeholders to prevent and detect crimes, particularly against the vulnerable.”

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