Public perceptions of policing published

26 September 2017

Anne Connolly Board Chair

Latest survey findings on the public’s perception of policing in Northern Ireland have been published. The Omnibus Survey also charts public opinions of the Policing Board, Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSPs) and the National Crime Agency (NCA) .

Speaking about the findings, Board Chair Anne Connolly said:  “The results published provide a snapshot of public opinion on the performance of the PSNI.

Figures remain high with almost three quarters of respondents (74%) indicating that they thought the PSNI are doing either a very good or fairly good job in their area, with more than three quarters (78%) very/ fairly satisfied that the PSNI treat members of the public fairly in Northern Ireland as a whole.

90% of respondents indicated that they had either a total, a lot or some degree of confidence in the PSNI’s ability to provide an ordinary day-to-day service for all of the people of Northern Ireland and, 93% indicated that they felt either very or fairly safe in their local community.”

Figures published in respect of the work of the Policing Board indicate a high level of awareness of the Board (83%) with just over three quarters of respondents (76%) thinking that the Board helps the PSNI do a good job. Mrs Connolly said:

“The Board plays a prominent accountability role and has established community credentials in respect of its oversight of policing services and programmes of work.  Not having a fully constituted Board for the last number of months is concerning and means that the PSNI have not subject to the rigour and strength of scrutiny that the public have rightly come to expect and value. Whilst a limited programme of oversight work has been taken forward over the last number of months, having the model of police accountability with both political and independent membership is crucial to discharging our legislative functions.”

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

“PCSPs continue to work hard in local areas and it is disappointing that the level of awareness of their work is low with less than half respondents having heard of them. The Department of Justice and the Board have been impressed by the range of projects that the PCSPs are progressing in local areas but clearly more attention needs to be focused on informing  and engaging people about their role and work.”

Perceptions of the National Crime Agency (NCA) were also gathered with 54% of respondents having heard of the Agency and its work.


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

Notes to Editors

1. Read the full report on the Board's website at the following link:

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 April 2017 Omnibus Survey. The sample used for this survey comprised 2,200 randomly selected households across Northern Ireland drawn from the Land and Property Services Agency list of addresses. The survey was completed between 3 April and 1 July 2017 with a total of 911  interviews which gave a response rate of 41%.

3. 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.