SKOPJE—Only two of twelve institutions important for tackling corruption deserve the trust of the majority in Macedonia. Police is one of them.

This year’s survey showed that public trust in Macedonian institutions is decreasing.

More than half of the citizens trust the police and the education, while the confidence in all of the other listed institutions is less than 40 percent, whereas the judiciary is the least trusted”, said Analytica Think Tank researcher Magdalena Lembovska at the presentation of the report “The Public in Macedonia on Police” on November 6, Skopje.

Opinions vary when it comes to perceptions of safety.

“More than a third of the respondents answered that they feel most safe, while the rest are divided between those that feel mostly unsafe and those that feel neither unsafe nor safe”, explained Lembovska.

Unfortunately, there is little trust in institutions when it comes to protecting one’s safety and safety of their family – 41% firstly trust themselves, while one in four people do not trust anyone in this regard.

Low trust goes hand in hand with high levels of perception of corruption.

“The percentage of people thinking that corruption is widespread in the police is increasing year by year – from 58% in 2016 to 65% in 2018. At the same time, there is a wide consensus that corruption in the police is very damaging to the work of the police and have and highly impacts the feeling of safety of citizens”, Lembovska stated.

The survey showed that citizens perceive that politics plays an important role in police work – starting from the employment practices, but also on the operational level.

“These findings demand that de-politicization and fight against police corruption should become a top priority for the stakeholders. Otherwise, we will continue seeing deterioration of public trust and an increased feeling of unsafety”, Lembovska highlighted.

The presentation followed a discussion with the participants – representatives of the Ministry of Interior, the Parliament, other state institutions, international organizations, civil society organizations, and academia.

The discussants detected the need for raising public awareness on the different ways to report corruption, especially regarding the role of each institution in fighting police corruption.

The perception of safety was another topic that evoked greater interest among the audience, suggesting further research on the main factors that affect citizen’s perceptions of safety and the main problems that make citizens feeling unsafe.

TAGS: AdvocacyCivil SocietyCorruptionExternal OversightMacedoniaPanel DiscussionPerceptionSkopje