Lviv residents still don’t trust their police force


According to a recent sociological survey, only 16 percent of Lviv people trust the police. Almost 50% don’t trust them, and another 40% are not satisfied with their work.

Among the main reasons for their mistrust were the following: using their official position for their own ends and impolite, or even rough or brutal treatment of people.

The survey entitled “Public opinion about the work of the Lviv region’s police force” was carried out by the Kharkiv Institute for Social Research and commissioned by the Lviv branch of the civic organizations OPORA and the Public Council for the Observance of Human Rights attached to the Lviv Regional Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

One cheering thing perhaps was that the level of trust had increased by 4% since 2003. The improvement was even more noticeable on specific issues. For example, 24% consider that the local police work well, against only 13.4% in 2003.  Executive Secretary of the Public Committee Taras Hatalyak believes that this is because in 2003 the police carried out political commissions, while now they work on maintaining public order. It must be said, however, that 41% of those surveyed this year expressed dissatisfaction with their work.

This may be connected with the fact that 60% of those surveyed had not set eyes on their district police officer.  Of these 55% said that they didn’t want to meet him. Only 14% consider the crime level in their region to be high, and 27% said that their district was not dangerous at night.

The most common problems people encountered were with road code violations, noise during evening hours, people leaving great piles of rubbish, hooliganism, and the use of alcohol or drugs in public places. The least widespread in their opinion were being attacked by dogs, problems with children’s behaviour, prostitution or domestic violence. 2% of the respondents said that they had been the victims of beating, torture inflicted by police officers over the previous 12 months, while another 5% alleged having been subjected to unlawful coercion by police officers before that.

Taras Hatalyak stated that the objective of the survey was to involve the public in evaluating the work of the police and identifying the main problems, so that the main indicator of their work was not their own reports, but public opinion surveys.

Myroslav Ivanyk

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