Survey highlights poor community relations with gardaí

Almost half of those asked said gardaí not dealing with things that matter to local area

More than a third of people said community relations with An Garda Síochána are poor and close to half said gardaí not dealing with things that matter to people in the local community, according to a survey.

The findings were released in the Garda Public Attitudes Survey for quarter three of this year, which was conducted between July and September.

The number of people reporting their crime to gardaí was at 76 per cent, down 4 per cent year-on-year. Just over one third of victims who did report their crime felt the right amount of information had been provided to them. However, the public’s trust in An Garda Síochána remains high at 91 per cent.

The survey, which is conducted by Amárach Research on behalf of An Garda Síochána, asks a sample of 1,500 people each quarter their views on a range of issues relating to the police force.


Almost one-fifth said local crime was a serious or very serious problem compared to 71 per cent who perceive national crime to be a serious problem.

More than one-third said they are aware of Garda patrols in their local areas while 40 per cent considered Garda presence in their local area to be at about the right level.

Further findings

The survey also found that 76 per cent of respondents said gardaí in their area can be relied upon to be there when you need them.

The majority (80 per cent) said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the service provided by An Garda Síochána to local communities.

Victimisation rates fell to 5.5 per cent over the quarter, down from 6.7 per cent year-on-year. Satisfaction among victims who reported their crime stood at 68 per cent, an increase of 17 per cent compared to quarter three of 2017.

More than half (60 per cent) said their fear of crime had no impact on their quality of life, down from 70 per cent year-on-year.

Half of respondents said they did not worry about becoming a victim of crime whether that be a crime involving personal injury, property theft or damage or both.

While the majority of respondents had positive views about the capability of An Garda Síochána to be friendly and helpful (92 per cent), modern or progressive (69 per cent), effective in tackling crime (66 per cent) and well managed (55 per cent), less than half (45 per cent) of respondents said the organisation provides a world class police service.

Deputy Commissioner of policing and security, John Twomey said it is clear from the survey "more work needs to be done in areas such as meeting the needs of local communities and ensuring victims are kept well informed".

“We will make improvements in those important areas,” he said.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times