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FSD2357 Police Barometer 2007

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Authors

  • Ministry of the Interior. Police Department

Keywords

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

Abstract

The survey studied Finnish public opinion on the role and services of the police, citizens' feelings about safety and security, fear of crime, experiences of crime, and trust in the police, the Border Guard, rescue services, etc. First, the respondents were asked how important certain bodies (e.g. the Church, the Customs, schools, the Armed Forces) were to crime prevention and to improving the safety of their neighbourhood. Views were probed on which tasks should be the responsibility of the police, how the tasks should be prioritised, and whether international crime was a threat to Finland. One theme examined the ways and means of improving traffic safety.

Regarding general order and safety, the respondents gave their views on enhancing employment, paying attention to behavioural models offered by parents, criminalising prostitution and increasing surveillance, increasing leisure time activities for young people, and introducing a zero-tolerance policy towards transgressions.

Sense of security and fear of crime were studied by asking how concerned the respondents were about certain things (e.g. assaults, housebreaking, drink driving, sexual harassment, Internet data security). Some questions focused on how safe the respondents felt at home during the day, in the city centre after dark, in their neighbourhood late at night, etc. The respondents were asked whether they themselves had become victims of certain crimes, whether they had notified the police, and if not, why. Further questions surveyed whether the respondents had been eyewitnesses to any crimes or witnesses/complainants in a criminal procedure, and whether they had experienced a threat or pressure from somebody subjected to a criminal procedure. In addition, measures taken by the respondents to reduce the risk of crime were charted.

Opinions on the accessibility and visibility of the police were examined by asking which number the respondents would call when needing the police, how often they had seen police patrols in their neighbourhood, and what was the distance from their home to the nearest police station. The quality of police services were assessed with questions about the last time the respondents had contacted the police, reasons for doing so, and how they had been treated. The respondents also rated how well the police had succeeded in solving crimes, preventing crime, keeping in touch with citizens, providing help quickly, etc.

Opinions on the attitude of the police towards people from different cultures were studied. The survey also charted trust in the police, emergency and protective services, private security guards, the Border Guards, the Customs, and the Armed Forces. In conclusion, the respondents were asked how long they had lived in their municipality of residence, how often they travelled abroad, how often they spent time in the population centre of their municipality in the evening or at night, and whether they themselves or a close relative worked in the police force.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, age, employment status, economic activity, marital status, household composition, number and ages of children living in the household, total number of people in the household, household income, R's education, size of the municipality of residence, degree of urbanity, type of accommodation, and province of residence.

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