News Letter


By Ian Graham
Friday 18th June 2004

MOREthan one in five people in Northern Ireland think the Province's police service is doing a poor job, according to a survey published yesterday.

The number of people who think the performance of the PSNI is poor has been growing over the past year, the poll carried out by the Policing Board showed.

Its report on public perceptions of the PSNI showed that 57 per cent of people - 61 per cent Protestant and 52 per cent Catholic - thought the force did a very or fairly good job.

However, that was down from a 62 per cent satisfaction rating in a similar survey last October and 63 per cent recorded in April last year.

The number of people questioned who thought the police did a very or fairly poor job was 22 per cent - 27 per cent Catholic and 20 per cent Protestant.

That dissatisfaction rating was up from 18 per cent in October and 16 per cent in April, 2003.

Fewer than two-thirds of people believed the police treated the two communities equally. Only 49 per cent of Catholics believed there was equal treatment and 37 per cent said Protestants got better treatment.

In contrast, 75 per cent of Protestants thought there was equal treatment and only 8 per cent believed Catholics were better treated by police.

There was high confidence - 75 per cent in the force's ability to provide ordinary day-today policing for all people in Northern Ireland - but that was four per cent down on the last survey.

Confidence was higher among Protestants and they were equally more confident in the PSNI's ability to deal with public order situations.

Policing Board chairman Professor Desmond Rea said that "generally the results show that there is still a broad level of confidence in, and support for, policing and this is to be welcomed".

However, he added: "The overall results paint a somewhat mixed picture and there are a number of areas where there is an apparent fall in confidence levels from the last survey."

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