Belfast Telegraph

Only 37% of people have confidence in Garda management, survey finds

More than 60% of the public do not have confidence in Garda management, according to a new survey.

Findings from the Garda public attitudes survey released on Friday show just 37% of people questioned agree the organisation is well-managed.

However, the survey also found nearly nine out of ten respondents (88%) had "mid to high" trust in the police force as a whole.

The survey results come a day after the publication of updated crime figures had to be deferred for a second time due to continued concern about the reliability of Garda statistics.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) said on Thursday there would be further delays in releasing details for offences recorded in the first six months of the year.

This follows on from An Garda Siochana's recent decision to extend their review of homicide data.

On Wednesday, it emerged the force had overstated the number of breath tests it carried out between 2009 and 2016 by almost 1.5 million.

Despite the controversies, the survey - which was conducted by Amarach Research on behalf of the Garda - found satisfaction levels with the service provided by the force were continuing to increase.

It found 85% of 1,500 people quizzed between April and June this year agreed that gardai were friendly or helpful.

The survey also found reductions in the number of people who said they were victims of crime, reductions in fear of crime and improved satisfaction among victims who reported their crime.

However, just over half (58%) thought the organisation was modern or progressive, 55% said it was effective in tackling crime and 37% said it was well-managed.

Less than 40% agreed the organisation provided a world-class police service.

In a recent interview with the Press Association, Policing Authority member Judith Gillespie said the Garda is very fortunate in that it enjoys "huge public confidence".

She said she would have expected public confidence to have taken a knock because of issues like the breath test scandal but added that "trust and confidence hasn't taken a dip at all".

However, she warned that public confidence "cannot be taken for granted".

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