Public perceptions of policing published

29 May 2014

The latest survey on the public’s perception of policing in Northern Ireland has been published today (29th May) by the Policing Board. The Omnibus Survey is a survey which charts public opinions of the PSNI, the Policing Board and Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSPs).

Speaking about the January 2014 findings, Board Chair Anne Connolly said:

“This survey is one of the ways in which the Board assesses community confidence in policing and police service delivery. Confidence levels recorded in day- to- day service delivery remain at a high level (89%) and the survey also found that 9 out of 10 people feel very/fairly safe in their local community.  The proportion of respondents who feel very/fairly unsafe rose from 2% last year to 4% this year.

Given the policing issues in relation to extended periods of rioting, the Board introduced to the survey questions on the perceptions of policing public disorder.  

Over three in four respondents (78%) have some, a lot, or total confidence in the police’s ability to deal with public disorder situations such as riots.  Almost two in three respondents (65%) believe that the police treat Catholic and Protestant demonstrators equally.  The survey also shows that 46% think that the police used appropriate force during public order situations and 39% think the police did not use enough force. A higher proportion of Catholic respondents (44%) think that the police did not use enough force during public order situations than Protestant respondents (38%).”

The survey also reports on public perceptions on the role and work of the Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSPs).

Mrs Connolly said:  “46% of respondents have heard of PCSPs and 38% of those felt that their local PCSP has helped to improve policing in their local area. Whilst some of these findings are low, we know there is an enormous amount of work being undertaken by PCSPs across our communities to tackle issues such as anti-social behaviour which latest crime statistics show is at the lowest level recorded since the measure was introduced in April 2006.

She added:  “In relation to the findings on the Board, it is welcome that 84% of respondents have heard of the Board, 74% of whom believe the Board is working very well, well or adequately. Almost three out of four respondents (72%) who had heard of the Policing Board believe the Board helps ensure that the PSNI do a good job.”


Forany further information please contact the Policing Board Communications Office on 07801738795.

Notes to Editors

  1. The full report on the survey findings canbe downloaded from the Board's website
  2. Omnibus Survey: The Northern Ireland Omnibus Survey is undertaken several times a year by the Central Survey Unit of the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. The findings above relate to the Policing Board module of the January 2014 Omnibus Survey.
  3. The sample used for this survey comprised 1,890 randomly selected households across Northern Ireland drawn from the Land and Property Services Agency list of addresses. The survey was completed between 6 January and 8 February 2014 with a total of 1,217 interviews which gave a response rate of 64%
  4. Statutory Responsibility: Section 34 of the Justice Act (NI) 2011 sets out the functions of the Joint Committee (comprising representatives from the Board and DOJ) which oversees the work of PCSPs. It states in s34 1(a) “The Joint Committee must assess the level of public satisfaction with the performance of PCSPs.”

Notes to Editors ends.