POINTPULSE presented public opinion research on police, safety and corruption in the Western Balkans in all capitals across the region on November 6.

A regional network of civil society organizations POINTPULSE simultaneously presented the results from the fourth annual survey “The Public in the Western Balkans on Police” in Skopje, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Podgorica, Tirana, and Pristina on Tuesday, November 6.

There are three main research results.

  1. Majority of people in the Western Balkans trust the police. At the same time, they believe that the police is highly corrupted and politicized.
  2. Almost every other citizen in the region thinks that they are safe. However, it is not because of the police work, but because people dominantly believe in themselves to protect their safety.
  3. Citizens “cheer” for stricter penalties for offenders and for corrupt police managers as the main tool in fighting police corruption.

Researchers from the POINTPULSE network offered answers on following five questions in the presentations of a public opinion survey.

Do citizens feel safe?

Almost the majority of the citizens in the region do feel safe. People in Montenegro and Serbia feel safer than in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia. Citizens in Albania feel the least safe.

Chart 1: The sense of safety in the Western Balkans

Citizens are self-confident and therefore feel safe. People believe that the police and other state authorities have not significantly contributed to the impression of safety. In that context, the police and the army are not a security guarantor for the citizens in the region.

Chart 2: Guardians of the safety in the Western Balkans

How much do the citizens trust the police?

Trust in the police in the region grows by one percent every year from 2015. Six out of ten citizens in the region trust the police. The highest trust in the police is in Kosovo and the least in Albania.

Chart 3: Trust in the police across the Western Balkans

What do citizens think about the police as an institution?

The majority of citizens in the Western Balkans are satisfied with the work of the police. Mostly satisfied with the police are people in Kosovo. Citizens in Albania feel the least satisfied.

Chart 4: Satisfaction with police work in the Western Balkans

However, the police services in the Western Balkans are still not immune to politicians. Seven out of ten citizens in the region believe that politicians exert excessive influence on police work. The greatest influence of politics on the police is in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the least in Montenegro.

Chart 5: The influence of politicians on the operational work of the police

To what extent do citizens think that the police are corrupt?

There is a strong impression in the Western Balkans that both the society and the state apparatus are corrupt. Six out of ten citizens in the region perceive police as a corrupt institution. The highest perception of police corruption is in Serbia and the least in Kosovo.

Chart 6: Perception of police corruption in the Western Balkans

How to fight corruption in the police?

Citizens in the Western Balkans believe that less corruption within the police is possible with strict sanctioning of offenders and corrupt police managers.

Chart 7: Tools for fighting police corruption

IPSOS Strategic Marketing gathered the data in Western Balkans in August and September 2018 on a sample of 6.100 adult citizens. The POINTPULSE network interpreted results and created a questionnaire used as a research instrument in the survey. “Face to face” interview technique was conducted.

This is the fourth round of public opinion surveys conducted in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia, and Kosovo in order to examine citizens’ views on security, police, and corruption. Implemented with the support of the European Union within the programme “Civil Society Facility” for networks of civil society organization and the Embassy of Canada in Serbia.


Trust in Police Is Still Borderline Positive
November 13, 2018, | Institute for Democracy and Mediation

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Seems That Citizens Lose Faith in the Fight against Corruption
November 9, 2018 | Center for Security Studies

Police Enjoys Highest Public Trust in Kosovo
November 13, 2018 | Kosovar Center for Security Studies

Perception of Police Corruption in Macedonia Is Increasing
November 8, 2018 | Analytica

Different Perspectives on Police, Corruption, and Safety in the Western Balkans
November 13, 2018 | Institute Alternative

Citizens of Serbia Trust the Police, but They Think It Is Corrupt
November 6, 2018 | Belgrade Center for Security Policy

TAGS: AdvocacyAlbaniaBosnia and HerzegovinaCorruptionExternal OversightKosovoMacedoniaMontenegroNewsPerceptionSerbiaWestern Balkans