Public's opinion of Latvian State Police continues to improve

Public opinion about the State Police's performance has increased to a record high this year, and a record number of residents said that they felt physically safe as a result, SKDS research agency's director Arnis Kaktiņš told reporters March 13.

The annual survey of residents' opinions about the State Police's work was carried out for the seventh time in January. It is important to know what people think about the police - "what would the official statistics be worth if residents felt dissatisfied or unsafe," said Kaktiņš.

A total of 1,000 residents of Latvia aged 18 to 75 were interviewed for the survey.

The State Police's Chief Ints Ķuzis said that the data could correlate with the fact that the number of crimes has been decreasing in Latvia.

According to Kaktiņš, residents' opinion of police officers' performance and attitude to residents has improved.

"70 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the police's performance, which is the highest percentage to date, while 30 percent are dissatisfied, and that proportion keeps reducing," said Kaktiņš.

The survey also found that increasingly more residents are satisfied with how police officers communicate with them. "It is obvious that educating police officers has born fruit," commented Ķuzis.

He added that the police had been trying to be more active in communicating with society, informing residents about the police's day to day work, achievements and failures.

One important factor in residents' opinion about the police is whether a person knows how to call the police, added Kaktiņš. "We can see that there still is a tiny percentage of those who say they do not," he said.

59 percent of respondents said that the police were easy to access where they lived, and that percentage has also been growing over the past seven years, said Kaktiņš.

The proportion of those who would like to see regular police patrols in their neighborhoods has been steadily increasing, and at the moment, only one in five residents would not want the police to patrol their neighborhoods.

Overall, residents gave the police a mark of 6.5 this year, which is also an improvement. The police have one of the highest popularity ratings among all institutions in Latvia, and the progress has been significant, said Kaktiņš.

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