Maltese police ‘viewed positively’ but majority have moderate trust in force

Trust the police? A NSO survey polled the nation and found that over 55% have a positive view of police but 45% retain a “moderate” trust in the force

The Maltese police is viewed positively by over half the Maltese nation, according to a perceptions survey carried out by the National Statistics Office among 1,553 respondents.

55.3% said they had a very positive or positive opinion, contrasted with 8.7% having a negative/very negative opinion – but 35.8% expressed neither opinion.

Indeed, 45.1% said they had a “moderate” level of trust,  with 9.7% saying they trusted the police slightly or not at all. 36.5% said they had a “high” trust of police and 8.4% said their trust was “extreme”.

Half of those who said they had high trust, perceived the police as acting with fairness, dignity and respect: 40.2% said their presence is felt, and 31.5% said the police acted when called.

Respondents who do not fully trust the police said the police are never around (27.6%) while 24.5% said the police do not act with fairness, dignity and respect, and 19.4% said the police failed to act or respond when called.

Respondents were also asked about their perceptions of the police on specific characteristics ranging from integrity to impartiality. 59.6% perceived it to have a high level of integrity against 27.1% who neither agreed nor disagreed with this proposition. 68.5% saw them as providing a professional level of service and 54.1% as impartial enforcers of the law.

Those who neither agreed nor disagreed with the professionalism of the police made up 22% and those who neither agreed nor disagreed with the impartiality of the police accounted for 30%.

Experiences with the police

Nearly one-third (32.7%) had some type of contact with the police force in the last year, such as lodging a report, being involved in an accident, being questioned, being stopped during a police inspection, issued a fine by a police officer, and others. Two-thirds rated their experience as good or very good, while 18.2% rated it as bad or very bad. 14.8% rated their experience had been neither good nor bad.

80% said they would prefer more visibility of police officers on the road and 18% were in favour of access to a nearer police station.

Over two-thirds of the population said they were aware of Community Policing Teams (CPT), although extent of this awareness varied according to the regions where community policing is implemented and the regions where it has not been rolled out yet.