PR Press service, Podgorica – Despite a stable trust in police, citizens believe that the state is insufficiently effective in fighting corruption, according to the Institute alternative’s research.
Ipsos Strategic Marketing conducted a field research in September of this year, for the needs of Institute alternative, on a sample of 1,013 adult citizens of Montenegro.
At a press conference on the presentation of the results of the survey ”What do citizens think of the police – is it serving the citizens or someone else?”, Aleksandra Vavić, public policy researcher at IA, said that trust in police services throughout the region is not stable.
”In Montenegro, as in Serbia, we have a slow growth, but it exists. On the other side, we can see that during these four years in Kosovo, there has been a high growth of trust in police from 56 percent to 86 percent this year. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, confidence is oscillating a lot from year to year, while in Macedonia and Albania we can see that there is a significant drop in trust in the police”, said Vavić at PR Centre.
According to her, when it comes to trust in institutions, citizens of the Western Balkans believe the most in the education system, while the police is in the second place, and the healthcare is on the third place.
”In Montenegro, police is on the third and healthcare is on the second place, when measuring the trust of the citizens. In general, when we look at the region, the lowest level of trust of the citizens has Anti-corruption Agency, Commercial inspectorates and Parliaments in the countries of the region”, said Vavić.
She said that there is increased trust in education and in healthcare systems in Montenegro, while in Albania and Macedonia there is a significant drop in trust in the police, education system, local authorities, media, etc.
”There has been a significant increase of the trust in police in Kosovo”, said Vavić.
She said, that for the first time survey measured the perception of safety of the citizens.
”The citizens of Montenegro and Serbia feel safe to a higher extent than citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia, while the citizens of Albania stand out – 45% of them do not feel safe. From 20 to 30 percent of citizens in each state could not clearly answer this question and they said that they feel neither unsafe nor safe”, said Vavić.
She said that they asked the citizens who do they trust the most to protect them, stating that the findings of the research showed that the citizens of the Western Balkans dominantly believe the most in themselves.
”42% of the citizens in Serbia thinks this way, 43% in Montenegro, 41% in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 48% in Kosovo, 67% in Albania and 41% in Macedonia”, said Vavić. About 20% of citizens believe that the police is the one to protect them, while less than ten percent of citizens in all countries believe that the army is the institution that will protect them.
”The number of the citizens who said that they do not trust anyone is not negligible, and that percentage ranges from ten percent in Montenegro, to the highest in Macedonia – 24 percent” said Vavić.
She said that the survey showed that the citizens of Kosovo have the most affirmative attitude towards the work of the police – 22 percent are very satisfied, 56 percent are mostly satisfied, explaining that this means that close to 80 percent of Kosovo citizens are generally satisfied with the work of their police.
”On the other hand, about 50 percent of citizens in Albania and Macedonia are either not satisfied at all or mostly dissatisfied with the work of the police in their countries. In Montenegro, 14% are not satisfied at all, 19% are mostly dissatisfied, and 46% are mostly satisfied”, pointed out Vavić.
According to her, in all the countries of the region, citizens still think that a public competition is not the most dominant and most common way of getting a job in the police service.
”We have 44% of citizens of Montenegro who think that the candidates for police force are selected through the public competition, but we have 40% of those who believe that it is necessary to pull friends and family strings in order to get a job, 26% of those who consider that through political connections one can get a job, while 13% thinks that a bribery is needed”, said Vavić.
She said that almost half of the Kosovo’s citizens that police works in the interests of the citizens, followed by Montenegro with 41%, Serbia with 37%, Albania with 35%, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina with 26%.
”We have an interesting trend in Montenegro – although the number of those who think that the police mostly protects the Government is decreased, the number of those who think that police mostly works in in the interests of the highest police officials has increased”, said Vavić.
According to her, in every county in region, less than 50% of citizens consider that the police works as a service of the citizens.
”Every fourth person in Montenegro (25% of the citizens) believes that politicians have a full influence on the operating work of the police. There have been no significant changes compared to the previous year, as it is the case in other countries. Last year, about 25% of Albanian citizens thought that politics had a full impact on the police, while this year the percentage raised to half of the population”, said Vavić.
She pointed out that, although the number of the citizens in Montenegro who believe that corruption is very and mostly widespread has decreased, over 50% of citizens thinks that corruption exists.
‘’In every county of the region, over half of the citizens believe that corruption in the police exists’’, said Vavić.
Speaking about the perception of corruption in other institutions, Vavić said that citizens believe that corruption is the highest in Judiciary and Healthcare, while the NGO’s sector is in the last place.
”In every county, at least 50% of the citizens thinks that corruption is damaging the work of the police. The perception of the citizens of Albania is the worst, with 73% of those who think it is very damaging, while in Montenegro we have 13% of citizens who think that it is not damaging at all”, said Vavić.