27/08/2008

Policing Survey Reveals 'Yob' Activity Biggest Problem

After thousands of households across Northern Ireland were surveyed on their attitudes to policing, the NI Policing Board has now published the results of the research.

The 2008 District Policing Partnership (DPP) Public Consultation Survey which was circulated to over 70,000 households across Northern Ireland asked householders, among other things, to prioritise the policing issues in their area they are most concerned about.

Results from the 12,044 responses will be used by the Policing Board, DPPs and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to shape future policing priorities.

"One in 10 households across Northern Ireland received the questionnaire which is designed to find out what the community thinks about a range of issues relating to the delivery of policing across Northern Ireland and in each DPP area." Sir Desmond Rea, the Board Chairman explained.

The results showed a clear need to address 'Yob' activities, such as vandalism (pictured) anti social behaviour and associated on-street drinking.

Across Northern Ireland, respondents highlighted Underage Drinking (49%), Young People Causing a Nuisance (48%), Domestic Burglary (40%), and Vandalism (40%) as the biggest policing problems in their individual District Council area.

The results are broadly similar to the problems identified when the survey was last conducted in 2006.

Also similar to the 2006 findings were the activities on which the public think police in their area should be concentrating most resources - Prompt Response to Emergencies (70%), Beat/Foot Patrolling (68%), Crime Prevention (59%) and Investigating Crime (54%).
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More respondents (31%) were satisfied with policing in their District Council area than dissatisfied (27%) and 81% of respondents felt that an increased police presence was the main activity that would reduce crime in their area.

The results of this survey, along with other consultation exercises, provide a picture of how the public view the performance of the police and DPPs.

The information gathered helps DPPs establish local policing priorities with PSNI Commanders and will help formulate next year’s Policing Plan.

Speaking specifically about the survey findings in relation to DPPs, Sir Desmond continued: "DPPs are the forum for communities to have a say on how their local area is being policed; and to help ensure communities get the kind of policing service they need."

He said that most respondents (76%) had heard of DPPs - a statistically significant increase of five percentage points since 2006 - over half of whom (51%) said they would be prepared to contact their DPP regarding local policing issues. He said this is encouraging for DPPs as they continue to engage with the public and gain the co-operation of local people in working with the DPP and the Police to prevent crime and make communities safer.

However, he also said that as only one in seven respondents (14%) think DPPs are doing a good job shows that there is more work to be done to ensure that they continue to engage with the community to identify policing priorities and to ensure delivery on these priorities.

"We all have a role to play in helping to make our community safer and to work in partnership with the police and other key stakeholders to achieve this; and I would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete and return the survey," said the Chairman.

(BMcC)

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