The Dutch public were more positive about the police in the municipality where they lived in 2011. People were more satisfied than in 2010 in terms of their contact with the police as well as how the police functioned. Their opinions on the availability of the police also improved, both in cities and in more rural areas.
Opinions about police contacts and functioning slightly better
Thirty percent of the Dutch population had some form of contact with the police in their municipality of residence in 2011. This contact took place during police surveillance, reports of incidents or criminal offences, or by just talking to a police officer in the street. Over 60 percent of people were satisfied with the contact, up from 57 percent in 2010. Satisfaction with how the police functioned in the own neighbourhood also increased: from 42 to 44 percent. This puts public satisfaction with the police back at its 2008 level.
Satisfaction with police contacts and police functioning in residential neighbourhood
Availability of police also scored better
Public opinion about the availability of the police in the residential municipality was also more favourable in 2011. For example, 29 percent of the population thought that the police had too little time for neighbourhood matters, down from 31 percent in 2010. The percentages of people who think the police ‘take too long to arrive when alerted’, ‘are not accessible enough’ and ‘stay in their cars too much’ were consistently 2 percent points lower than in 2010. The aspect on which people are most dissatisfied is police visibility. Nearly half of the population think that they ‘don’t see the police enough in the neighbourhood’. This percentage hardly changed between 2010 and 2011.
Opinions on availability of police in residential neighbourhood
People in rural areas less satisfied with availability of police
Opinions on the availability of the police in the residential neighbourhood differ between city dwellers and people living in more rural areas. People living in not urbanised and moderately urbanised areas are slightly less satisfied on this aspect than those living in strongly and extremely urbanised areas. This is true for all survey years. In both urban and rural areas, opinions on police availability were more favourable in 2011 than in 2010.
Opinions on availability of police in residential neighbourhood, by degree of urbanisation.