TIRANA—Albanian police still deserve the trust of majority citizens despite an 11 percent decrease compared to the last year’s results.

Trust in Albanian institutions has been a “roller coaster” – a predominant distrust in 2016 following with major increase in 2017 and again significant decline in 2018, the POINTPULSE network and Institute for Democracy and Mediation pointed in the presentation of public perception on police on November 6, 2018, in Tirana.

The 2018 survey data show that the education system (52%) and the police (50%) are the most trusted institutions in Albania.

“Although there has been a considerable decrease in trust of the police for 11 percent since last year, the police still enjoys the trust of 50% of Albanians, making it the second most trusted institution for 2018”, said Redion Qirjazi from the Institute for Democracy and Mediation.

A third runner-up is the media with a 49% public trust rating. The Parliament is the institution with the lowest levels of public trust.

Citizens reaffirm their belief of the past two years that politicians influence police work.

“In 2018, 78% of Albanians believe that politicians influence the operational work of the police completely or to a certain extent, while 18% believe of the opposite”, explained Qirjazi.

In addition, it is possible to link the increase of police corruption perception of corruption with the major controversies regarding the integrity of high-ranking officials within the police, pointed out Qirjazi.

The 2018 survey shows that “Albanians feel mostly unsafe in their country, and don’t trust public institutions to guarantee their safety”. In fact, 67% of Albanians would entrust their safety only to themselves and only 11% would trust it to the police”, said Qirjazi.

The representatives of public institutions and media had the opportunity to comment on the survey results.

The media expert, Lutfi Dervishi, noted that public trust has decreased in all institutions and that is very difficult to contest.

“There is a need for the police to improve its strategic communication with the public regarding its work. Rather problematic is the high levels of respondents feeling unsafety and needs further analysis”, proposed Dervishi.

State Police Director on Public Order and Safety Gjovalin Loka contested the results of the survey.

“As regards to political influence, there is no such thing as police recruitment without undergoing a rigorous public competition”, said Loka.

Loka highlighted some of the recent efforts and achievements in terms of improved efficiency of public services through the Police Reception Office and the use of body cameras.

The representative of the Peoples Advocate stressed that citizens’ complaints about police work have decreased these couple of years.

IPSOS Strategic Marketing gathered the data in Albania in September 2018 on a sample of 1.005 adult citizens and the Institute for Democracy and Mediation interpreted results. The POINTPULSE network created questionnaire used as a research instrument in the survey. “Face to face” interview technique were 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.

TAGS: AdvocacyAlbaniaCorruptionExternal OversightPerceptionTirana