Public opinion survey results: Majority of citizens trust the Police, despite their perception that the corruption is present

Six out of ten citizens trust the Police. Nevertheless, majority of citizens considers that the corruption in this institution is relatively widespread, according to results of public opinion survey presented today.

Institute Alternative has presented the results of field research, conducted in April 2016 by IPSOS Strategic Marketing, on representative sample of 1000 adult citizens of Montenegro.

“In addition to the high level of public trust, views also showed that they generally have positive associations with the average policemen and policewomen,” Milena Milošević, researcher at IA said at the presentation.

However, she stressed that these positive results are in contrast to other research findings, giving a somewhat complex picture of the citizens’ views of the police.

Citizens also believe that corruption within this institution is relatively widespread, and that the police mostly serves to particular interests. According to the citizens, employment in the police is not merit-based.

Namely, 36% of citizens believe that corruption is widespread to some extent, while over 19% believe that it is widespread to the highest level. Only 13% of citizens believe that corruption in the police force does not exist.

The perception of corruption in the police is one of the most stable results of this year’s survey compared to a similar survey conducted last year. Citizens of Serbian nationality have less confidence in the police and they perceive it as alienated from citizens. Less than half of respondents (42%) who identified themselves as Serbs say they mostly or completely have confidence in the police.

The novelty of this year’s survey was the focus on citizens’ opinions about policewomen.

“Although policewomen are mainly attributed with positive attributes, this research confirms the existence of certain stereotypes about women. Beauty, looks and charm are among the most common first associations to policewoman, while less than 1% of the respondents have had the same first association when it comes to average policeman. Also, none of the respondents considered that the average man in the police was not up to his job, while 5% of respondents expressed that view when asked to describe women in the police, ” Milošević explained.

She also pointed out that the results do not match the comparing trust of the public and the perception of corruption in them, when it comes to other institutions as well.

“For example, confidence in healthcare system is high, although citizens believe that corruption in healthcare system is also relatively widespread,” she added, pointing to the underdeveloped political culture of doubting in state institutions’ performance as one of the possible explanations for these contradictory results.

Marko Sošić, IA Associate, noted that the public opinion survey, based solely on perceptions of citizens, will be complemented by in-depth qualitative research on the integrity of the police, which will be presented in a separate publication.

The research was conducted within the project “Western Balkans Pulse for Police Integrity and Trust”, which aims to contribute to building confidence in the police by promoting accountability and strengthening the integrity of the police.

POINTPULSE network, formed for this purpose, consists of seven CSOs from the region: Analytika from Skopje, Belgrade Center for Security Policy (BCSP) and Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) from Belgrade, Center for Security Studies (CSS) from Sarajevo, Institute alternative (IA) from Podgorica, Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) from Tirana, and Kosovo Centre for Security Studies (KCSS) in Pristina.

Below you can see the presentations of today’s event:


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