Anti-social behaviour 'main target'
Tackling anti-social behaviour should be the police service's top priority, a public survey has found.
The Northern Ireland Policing Board published the results of the latest District Policing Partnership (DPP) Public Consultation Survey, which was sent to 74,000 households across Northern Ireland.
A total of 82% of the 15,675 people who responded to the survey identified anti-social behaviour as their biggest policing issue, followed by tackling burglary (74%), road traffic offences (64%) and drug dealing or drug use (55%).
The survey returned mixed results on public satisfaction with the police in their area, while a growing number of people were unaware of the role of DPPs in influencing local policing.
The board's acting chairman, Brian Rea, said: "There is a real challenge ahead in matching service delivery to community expectation, but a clear commitment has been given by the Chief Constable in respect of service delivery and substantial work is ongoing by the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) to deliver that."
The research showed that more respondents thought that the police did a poor job than a good job where they live (26% compared to 15%). Two out of five respondents (42%) thought that the police did an adequate job where they live.
Chief Constable Matt Baggott said: "We are greatly encouraged by the level of confidence shown by local communities in their policing service.
"The challenges we face are not diminishing but, with increased community support and assistance, we are confident that we can defeat those who wish to damage the very communities from which they come.
"It is important to note that a majority of people want to see increased patrolling in their local areas. We are working to achieve this as we reorganise our service delivery and bring increased numbers of officers back into frontline policing."
The survey revealed that almost seven out of 10 respondents (69%) had heard of DPPs, a statistically significant decrease of seven percentage points from the 2008 survey. The proportion of respondents who had not heard of DPPs increased from 21% in 2008 to 30% in 2010, a statistically significant increase.