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FSD3000 Police Barometer 2014

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Authors

  • Ministry of the Interior. Police Department

Keywords

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

Abstract

The survey studied Finnish public opinion on the role and services of the police, feelings about safety and security, fear of crime, experiences of crime, and trust in the national institutions in crime prevention.

First, the respondents were asked how important certain bodies (e.g. the Church, the Customs, schools, the Defence Forces) were to crime prevention and to improving the safety of their neighbourhood. Opinions on the extent to which the police force can prevent civil disorder and maintain safety were charted as well as whether the respondents had experiences of international crime.

The respondents were asked how important certain things were in terms of maintaining public order and safety by the police, for instance, that the employment situation would improve, people suffering from substance abuse would receive treatment, prostitution would be prohibited and that the police would adopt zero-tolerance towards law-breaking. Views were probed on which tasks of the police were important. One question examined opinions on the ways of improving road safety.

Sense of security and fear of crime were studied by asking how worried the respondents were about certain things (e.g. assaults, house break-in, 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. Views were charted on how serious a problem crime was in the neighbourhood. 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 (e.g. theft, assault) or witnesses/complainants in a criminal procedure, and whether they had experienced a threat or pressure from somebody subjected to a criminal procedure. Measures taken by the respondents to reduce the risk of crime (e.g. use of burglar alarms or avoidance of city centre after dark) were charted.

Opinions on the accessibility and visibility of the police were examined by asking what the distance was from their home to the nearest police station, and whether the respondents had used the online services of the police. 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, providing help quickly, etc.

Opinions on the attitude of the police towards people from different ethnic backgrounds were studied. The survey also charted opinions on the development of the services provided by the police as well as trust in various institutions, such as the police, emergency and protective services, private security guards, the Border Guard, the Customs, and the Defence Forces. Opinions on the likelihood of police corruption were surveyed. In conclusion, the respondents were asked how long they had lived in their municipality of residence, how often they travelled abroad, and how often they spent time in the population centre of their municipality in the evening or at night.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, age group, economic activity and occupational status, level of education, mother tongue, Internet use, household composition, ages of children living in the household, number of persons living in the household, gross annual household income, type of neighbourhood, and municipality and region (NUTS3) of residence.

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