FSD3623 Police Barometer 2018

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  • Vuorensyrjä, Matti (Police University College)
  • Fagerlund, Monica (Police University College)


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

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The Police Barometer surveys study 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. The 2018 survey was funded by the Ministry of the Interior.

Initially, respondents assessed the ability of the police to guarantee public order and security in Finland, the importance of various tasks in police work (e.g. solving different types of crime, traffic control, emergency response, police patrol), and the significance of different monitoring methods (e.g. speed limit enforcement, road-side checks) in terms of traffic safety.

Sense of security and fear of crime were studied by asking how worried the respondents were about certain issues (e.g. assaults, burglaries, drunk driving, sexual harassment, cybercrime). Respondents were asked to identify circumstances in which they feel unsafe in if they are alone (e.g. at home during the day, in the town centre after dark after dark, or in a residential area late on Friday and Saturday nights). Views on how serious a problem crime was in the respondents' own neighbourhoods were also examined. The respondents were asked whether they themselves had become victims of certain crimes, whether they had reported the crime to the police, and if not, why. Further questions surveyed whether the respondents had been eyewitnesses to any crimes (e.g. burglaries or car theft) or witnesses/complainants in a criminal procedure, and whether they had experienced a threat or pressure from somebody subjected to a criminal procedure.

Opinions on the accessibility and visibility of the police were examined by asking what the distance was from the respondent's home to the nearest police station, how long they thought it would take for the police to respond to an emergency, and whether the respondents had used the online services of the police. The quality of police services was 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, courts, the Customs, and the Defence Forces. Opinions on the likelihood of police corruption and the quality of police conduct were surveyed. The respondents were asked what they felt their own duties towards the police were, and whether based on their own experiences they felt that the police had made obvious mistakes in everyday policing. Finally, the respondents were asked how often they followed news from printed and electronic news channels, and they were asked to identify any recent news stories about the police and police activities, or news stories about crimes, security and threats to security that they remembered hearing.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, age group, primary position in the labour market, highest level of education attained, mother tongue, gross annual personal income, municipality and region (NUTS2 and NUTS3) of residence, size of municipality, and whether the respondent, someone in their immediate family or a close relative worked for the police.

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