Public Safety and Security Perception Survey in Iraq 2017
The ultimate aim of security sector reform is to enhance safety and security of people through the development of effective and accountable security institutions within a framework of rule and law. In order to inform the Government's Security Sector Reform efforts and implementation of the Security Sector Reform Programme, led by the Office of the National Security Advisor, this survey was conducted to gauge public perceptions of safety and security in Iraq. Al Nahrain Centre for Strategic Studies (ANCSS) designed and implemented the survey. This is the first public opinion survey of its kind undertaken by ANCSS and the Office of the National Security Advisor. It covers the six governorates of Baghdad, Anbar, Diyala, Erbil, Karbala and Salah al-Din in a comparative analysis.
The survey was intended to solicit views of public perceptions of personal safety and security, as well as public confidence and trust in security service providers. The survey also aimed to gather recommendations from members of the public on ways in which safety and security can be improved, as well as ways in which public confidence and trust in security service providers can be enhanced.
Data was collected from a representative sample of 1,200 community members in the six governorates, representative of men and women, rural and urban residents, and employment status.
- General perceptions of safety and security vary significantly across the six governorates of Baghdad, Anbar, Diyala, Erbil, Karbala and Salah al-Din
- In governorates where people felt relatively safe, people often attributed this sense of security to the absence of ISIL and other irregular armed groups
- The presence of a strong civilian police service (or local police) was also a key factor in why people felt safe
- Whilst the local police were considered to be the most trustworthy security service provider in most governorates, respondents in Anbar and Diyala said they trusted ISF more
- There is more work to be done to increase trust and confidence amongst women and those in rural locations, given the survey suggests they have less trust in any security service provider
- Overall, almost two-thirds of all respondents said that improved safety and security would have a high or very high impact on their well being or quality of life
- There is significant public support for improving access to security and justice, indicative of considerable work required to improve this access for all people, particularly in areas where insecurity is high