Derry people least likely to say PSNI “treat Catholics and Protestants equally’, DoJ survey finds

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People in Derry and Strabane were less likely to state that the PSNI “treat Catholics and Protestants equally in Northern Ireland” than anywhere else in the North, according to the results of a new Department of Justice survey.

They were also least likely to say they believed the PSNI would treat them with respect if they had contact with them while fewer people from the city and district felt that police were doing a “very or fairly good job” than in other areas.

The findings are contained within DoJ’s newly-published ‘Perceptions of Policing and Justice: Findings from the 2017/18 Northern Ireland Crime Survey’ (NICS)’.

The survey looked at both confidence in policing and the criminal justice system as a whole.

It has reported just 71 per cent of respondents from Derry and Strabane believed police treated Catholics and Protestants equally, which was way behind the NI average of 83 per cent, and, in fact, lower than the NI-wide confidence level of 72 per cent recorded in 2003/04.

Equally, just 81 per cent of Derry and Strabane respondents were confident police would treat them with respect if they had contact with them, again the lowest in the North, and below the average of 86 per cent.

Just 70 per cent - again the lowest in the North - felt the police were doing a “very or fairly good job”.

Perceptions of policing and justice were much better on a range of other measures.

For example, 87 per cent of those surveyed in Derry and Strabane said they felt the police provided an ordinary day-to-day service, which was just above the NI mean of 86 per cent. Fifty-three per cent said they believed local police can be relied on to be there when you need them, which was just below the 54 per cent average. Fifty-five per cent said the PSNI can be relied on to deal with minor crimes, which was above the 52 per cent average. And 66 per cent said they believed the PSNI “understand the issues that affect this community,” which was again above the 63 per cent NI-wide mean.