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FSD2050 Police Barometer 2003

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Authors

  • Ministry of the Interior. Police Department

Keywords

citizens, crime and security, crime victims, evaluation, fear of crime, law enforcement, offences, personal safety, police services, police-community relationship, public services, road safety, trust, witnesses

Abstract

Respondents were presented with the same questions in the police barometers of the years 2001 and 2003. Citizens' views on general safety and security in Finland, police activities, the quality of police services, and fear of crime were surveyed. At first, respondents evaluated Finland's internal safety, the role of the police, and the ability of the police to guarantee general order and safety. Different tasks of the police and their priorities were charted. Some questions covered the threat of international crime in Finland, and different ways of controlling traffic safety.

Citizens' sense of security and fear of crime were studied by asking how worried they were about certain things (e.g. assaults, housebreaking, drink driving, sexual harassment and Internet data security). Questions covered how safe the respondent feels at home during the day, in the city center after dark or in his/her residential area late at night. Respondents were asked how serious a problem crime was in their area and whether they had been crime victims themselves. Further questions surveyed whether the respondents had been eyewitnesses to any crimes (e.g. stealing, car theft or threats with arms), whether they had been witnesses or complainants in a criminal procedure, and whether they had experienced threat or pressure from somebody subjected to a criminal procedure.

Respondents' opinions on the accessibility and visibility of the police were examined by asking which number they would call when needing the police, how often they see police patrols in their neighbourhood, and what is the distance from their home to the nearest police station. The quality of police services were assessed with questions about the last time the respondent had contacted the police, reasons for doing so and how (s)he had been treated.

Respondents assessed the attitude of the police towards people from different cultures. The survey also charted the respondents' trust in the police, emergency and protective services, private security guards, Border Guards, the Customs, and the Armed Forces. Respondents also rated how well the police have succeeded in, for example, solving crimes, crime prevention, keeping in touch with citizens, and providing help quickly etc.

In conclusion, respondents were asked how long they had lived in the area and whether they themselves or a close relative work in the police force. Background variables included the respondent's gender, age, economic activity, type of municipality of residence, level of education, number of persons in the household, household composition, income, province and region of residence, and political party preference.

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