Category: Archive

Surveys send mixed messages to police

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

In the North Belfast report, more than one third said they had been the victims of verbal harassment from police officers. In another alarming finding, 27 percent felt it was acceptable to throw missiles at the police.
Around 2,486 teenagers aged 14-17 and 500 young people from the Ardoyne and Glenbryn districts were questioned in the last four months of last year by the Institute for Conflict Research.
Of those questioned in north Belfast, 41 percent believed the paramilitaries had more power than the police, who rated 36 percent. In the Catholic community, 30 percent believed it was acceptable to attack the police, compared with a quarter of Protestants.
The report also revealed that only 23 percent felt the police provided a good service, while 17 percent thought the police were “understanding.” Almost two-thirds of those polled, 65 percent, felt police did not understand the problems of young people. Only 38 percent would contact the police first to report an attack against them while 43 percent felt the current level of policing at sectarian flashpoints actually increased violence.
A different survey, however, found that confidence in the PSNI is increasing with 83 percent of respondents having some, a lot or total confidence in their ability to provide a day-to-day policing service, up six percent on the previous six months.
There was also an increase from 75 percent to 79 percent in the numbers of people who have some, a lot or total confidence in the PSNI ability to deal with public disorder. Almost three quarters were satisfied with their contact with police, an increase of two percent.
The chief constable, Hugh Orde, said that while the report was “extremely positive, there is no doubt that there is still work to be done by police in ensuring that the service provided to the public is effective and efficient”.
The Sinn F

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