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On 26 September 2014, on Imedi Channel’s Reaction,

the United National Movement MP, Zurab Japaridze, stated:  “Surveys show that for the first time in many years public confidence in the police has fallen.”

FactCheck

took interest in this statement and verified its accuracy.

The International Republican Institute (IRI) surveys public confidence in institutions in terms of its broader public opinion research programme. In terms of the survey, the respondents are asked to express their opinion about various institutions.

We looked into the results of the surveys conducted from 2007 to 2014. (See IRI surveys: 2007 31.08 – 10.09,  2008 23.09 – 01.10, 2009 21.02 – 03.03, 2010 4-13.03,  2010 27.09 – 7.10, 2011 26.04 – 4.05, 2011 27.10 – 11.11,  2012 26.06 – 4.07, 2012 9-21.11,  2013 18-27.02,  2013 17.05 – 2.06,  2014 19.02 – 13.03).

According to the most recent surveys conducted in February and March 2014, 82% of those surveyed assess the work of the police positively which is 6% less than the results of the May and June 2013 surveys. In addition, the number of people assessing the work of the police negatively has grown by 4%.

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The very first survey conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI) after the Parliamentary Elections of 2012 showed that public confidence in the police had decreased by 4% and the number of people negatively assessing their work had increased by 2%. According to the following two surveys, public confidence in the police equalled 86% and 88% in 2013; however, it decreased to 82% in February 2014. In the surveys from 2007 to 2014, the police usually had the third highest public confidence after the church and the army. Only from August to September 2007 did the police hold the fourth position and then occupied second place in April and May 2011. According to 2014 data, the police now hold the fourth place by public confidence in institutions.

In the period from 2007 to 2014, the police had the lowest public confidence in 2007 (65%). The number of people assessing their work positively increased to 84% in 2008; however, it decreased again to 69% in 2009. The number of people placing their confidence in the police grew steadily from 2010 and varied from 87% to 88% in 2011 and 2012.

FactCheck also looked into the surveys of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) from 2012 to 2014 which also assessed public confidence in institutions. (See NDI surveys:  Aug. 2014, Apr. 2014, Nov. 2013, Sep. 2013, Jun. 2013, Mar. 2013, Nov. 2012, Aug. 2012 and Jun. 2012). image002

The number of people assessing the work of the police as very good or good decreased by 11% in August 2014 as compared to April 2014. A total of 58% of those surveyed assessed the work of the police as good or very good in June and August 2012 whilst this number fell to 52% in November 2012. A total of 62% of those surveyed the work of the police as good or very good after a year, in November 2013. The following surveys saw confidence levels decrease to 51% and 40%.

We also looked into the 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013

Caucasus Barometer surveys conducted by the Caucasus Research Resource Centre (CRRC) where respondents were required to express their confidence in the Georgian police. The number of people absolutely or partly trusting the police increased by 9% in 2013 as compared to 2012. The organisation, however, has not yet published their 2014 survey results.

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Conclusion

According to the latest surveys of the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the number of people positively assessing the work of the police has decreased.

According to the February-March 2014 survey of the International Republican Institute, the number of people assessing the work of the police positively was 82% which is 6% less than what the May-June 2013 research results showed. According to the survey of the National Democratic Institute, the number of people assessing the work of the police as good or very good fell by 11% in August 2014 as compared to April 2014.

However, if we analyse the public confidence levels in the police from 2007 to 2014, it is clear that the case of 2014 is not the only one. For example, according to the International Republican Institute, the number of people assessing the work of the police positively decreased by 15% in 2009 as compared to 2008.

FactCheck concludes that Zurab Japaridze’s statement:  “Surveys show that for the first time in many years public confidence in the police has fallen,” is HALF TRUE.

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