Poll shows rising levels of security satisfaction


Sun, Jun 25, 2006 - Page 2

A public safety survey yesterday revealed an overall increase in satisfaction with security in general but also that most people were still concerned about scams and unregulated food products.

The survey was conducted by the Institute for National Policy Research which has conducted the same survey every month for the past three months. This month 29.9 percent of the public polled expressed satisfaction with the current public security situation.

In March the survey showed that only 15.89 percent polled believed public safety was satisfactory and a figure which rose to 19 percent in April.

However, a new question added to the survey this month asking whether there had been any change in the level of public safety in the three months since Premier Su Tseng-chang's (蘇貞昌) pledged to improve law and order showed that 80.5 percent felt that nothing had changed.

Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明), an assistant research fellow in political science at Academia Sinica, said the increase in satisfaction levels meant that the public does feel positive changes following the government's recent effort to improve public security.

Although steadily climbing over the months, the percentages still had a long way to go to reach even a level of 50 percent public satisfaction, Hsu said.

The discrepancies between the rising percentage of respondents expressing satisfaction with public safety and those who believed that nothing had changed over the past three months may mean that some people may already be satisfied with the situation but did not feel a change, he said.

Lin Chen-yi (林正義), the coordinator of programs at the institute, said the recent survey revealed that the number of people plagued by scams was still high, at 82 percent.

Lin said that the figure was not much different from those in the previous two surveys.

The percentage of people worried about unregulated food products was at 80.7 percent, which was higher than ever, he said.

In the survey, those polled hoped that the government would prioritize tackling scam problems (17.2 percent), followed by drug problems (14.2 percent), and unregulated food products (12.3 percent).

Hsieh Wen-yan (謝文彥), chairman of the department of crime prevention and correction at Central Police University, said such topics were more closely related to people's everyday lives than major robberies.

Also, the reason for the rise of overall satisfaction in public safety may be because the media has recently been concentrating on political scandals rather than crime, Hsieh said.

Wong Seng-lee (翁興利), a professor in the department of public administration and policy at National Taipei University, added that since most people attain information from the media, it really depended on how much crime news was featured every day.

One more survey will be conducted before Su's deadline to improve the nation's public law and order within six months is due.

A total of 1,078 people over the age of 20 were polled nationwide via the telephone on June 16 and 17.