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Assignment 4

Questionnaire and Interview Analyses

Elena Pandelska
Student Number: 68363714
Class slot: Thursday 15:00
Group number: 56

Questionnaire Analyses

As part of the course one of the main tasks was to complete a questionnaire survey.
The overall aim of the questionnaire was to find out are public perceptions of crime in
Ireland realistic. There were four main research questions which were vital for the
success of this questionnaire. First of them was concern with the incidence of crime in
Ireland and how the crimes varied across space and time. Second research question
was related to different Garda regions and how public perceptions vary across all of
these regions. Third question was how media reporting influences public perceptions.
And the final question which was essential for our work was to find out is there any
relationship between personal factors and public perceptions of crime in Ireland.
These four questions were used to create sub- themes which help us to clarify more
the importance of media, crime levels, personal reasons and Garda regions.
The whole survey was organised as each person from the group was assign to
complete two questionnaires with people from their local area. The methods used
were to create an open-ended questionnaire in which the respondents can write their
own opinions without being restricted to choose a particular answer. All of the
questions used were trying to explore the relationship between media, Garda regions,
public perceptions and the reasons for crime commitment. All of the completed
questionnaires ware collected and the responses calculated as each of the questions
involve in the questionnaire were entirely related to the investigation of the main

The number of the all questionnaires carried out was 539 in total. All of the
respondents were over 18 years of age and they were selected regardless their age,
gender and current employment. The distribution of respondents amongst females and
males was as follows: Moodle table 1 show that 59.4% of the respondents were
females and 40.6% were males. This slight difference in the percentages shows that
women were more active respondents. Moodle table2 show that the age range was
great but the most participants fall in the age range from 18 to 24. In Moodle table 2 it
is clearly shown that 59.4% of the respondents were in the age range of 18 to 24,
secondly 15.6 % were between 25 and 44, and thirdly 22.5% between 45 and 64 and
finally only 2.4% of the respondents were over 65 years of age. This age distribution
shows that most of the results are generated from the young generation and their
views about crime. People were selected on the random basis and most of them were
not involve in any political or other authority organisation. Most of the respondents
were students or full time workers. According to Moodle table 3, 52.4% of all of the
participants were full time students and 29.4% were full time workers. These results
show that young people were more active in participating in this particular
questionnaire survey. Moodle table 3 also shows that only 5.6% of the respondents
were unemployed and only 3% retired. All of the results in this research were used to
establish the level of reality in the public perceptions of crime in Ireland.

Most of the respondents of the survey point out the main causes for committing
crime in Ireland. The results showed that our society believes the four main causes for
the high crime levels are drug use, alcohol, lack of parental control and lenient justice
system. Moodle table 6 shows that 50.4% of all respondents point out drugs as main
reason for committing crime followed by 21% believed that alcohol is actually
responsible for most of the crimes. The next two causes are lack of parental control
(18.1%) and lenient justice system (15.2%) are seen as not so important factors in
establishing a level of crime and the reason for committing it.
Respondents had the chance to classify the types of crime in Ireland. Moodle table
5 shows that 29.7% of the respondents point burglary as the most common type of
crime. On the second place 21.3% pointed physical assault and thirdly 19.1% of the
respondents pointed criminal damage. These results can be interpreted as most of the
crimes in Ireland are committed due economic instability or just due to peer pressure.
To get answer on the question do crimes vary in space and time people were ask to
point where they think most of the crimes happen. Moodle table 9 shows that most of
the respondents point Dublin metropolitan region and big cities as the ones in which
most of the crimes happen. These results showed most of the people believe that rural
areas are saver. In table 9 31.9% of the respondents said that village or rural places are
more secure whereas living in the city is more risky.
As carrying out this research all of the group members were assign to produce
SPSS table which were used to develop a better understanding of public perceptions
of crime in Ireland. In group 56: table 1 57.3% of the respondents believe that Ireland
is greatly affected from crime and 41.0 % stated that there is some crime. These
results show that society is well aware of crime and the reasons for that are that media
keep inform public for every crime committed in the society.

Group 56 Table1
Amount of crime Ireland

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent

Valid great deal 309 57.3 57.5 57.5

some 221 41.0 41.2 98.7

very little 3 .6 .6 99.3

none 1 .2 .2 99.4

unsure 3 .6 .6 100.0

Total 537 99.6 100.0

Missing 0 1 .2

System 1 .2

Total 2 .4

Total 539 100.0

In group 56: table 2 the data used was cumulated from males and females and their
opinion on is their local area safe or not. The results show that 65.5% of the female’s
respondents that they are agree that their local area is safe and 63.9% of the males
also answer the same. These results point out that most of the participants feel
protected in their local area and believe that Garda is doing their job to prevent crime.

Group 56: Table2

Local area safe * Respondent gender Crosstabulation

Respondent gender

female male Total

Local area safe strongly agree Count 32 21 53

% within Local area safe 60.4% 39.6% 100.0%

% within Respondent gender 10.0% 9.7% 9.9%

agree Count 177 117 294

% within Local area safe 60.2% 39.8% 100.0%

% within Respondent gender 55.5% 54.2% 55.0%

no opinion Count 41 18 59

% within Local area safe 69.5% 30.5% 100.0%

% within Respondent gender 12.9% 8.3% 11.0%

disagree Count 65 54 119

% within Local area safe 54.6% 45.4% 100.0%

% within Respondent gender 20.4% 25.0% 22.2%

strongly disagree Count 4 6 10

% within Local area safe 40.0% 60.0% 100.0%

% within Respondent gender 1.3% 2.8% 1.9%

Total Count 319 216 535

% within Local area safe 59.6% 40.4% 100.0%

% within Respondent gender 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

Next table was exploring the change in every Garda region over 5 years of time. In
table 3 60.7 % of the respondents believed that he crime cases increased in their local
area whereas only 0.9% believed that crime levels actually decreased. These results
show that people become more insecure and more aware of the changes that start to
appear in society. The main reasons for these changes are poverty and economic
Group 56: Table3
Change over 5 yrs Garda region

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent

Valid increased greatly 102 18.9 19.0 19.0

increased 327 60.7 60.9 79.9

no change 91 16.9 16.9 96.8

decreased 5 .9 .9 97.8

don't know 12 2.2 2.2 100.0

Total 537 99.6 100.0

Missing 0 2 .4

Total 539 100.0

Ireland is a country which id divided into six main Garda regions which are important
for estimating the levels of crime in each part of the country. In table 4 one of the
main types of crime in Ireland pointed out from the respondents is burglary. The
results in table 4 show that Southern region has the highest levels of reported cases for
burglary. 60.0% of the respondents state this type of crime as vital. Dublin
Metropolitan region is second with 38.0% of the respondents pointing out as burglary
as main type of crime.

Group 56: Table4

Victim of burglary * Home Garda region Crosstabulation

Home Garda region

South Dublin
Northern Western Southern Eastern Eastern Met Total

Victim of selected Count 17 3 3 72 11 54 160

burglary % within Victim 10.6% 1.9% 1.9% 45.0% 6.9% 33.8% 100.0%
of burglary

% within Home 22.7% 13.0% 60.0% 28.6% 26.2% 38.0% 29.7%

Garda region

not Count 58 20 2 180 31 88 379

selected % within Victim 15.3% 5.3% .5% 47.5% 8.2% 23.2% 100.0%
of burglary

% within Home 77.3% 87.0% 40.0% 71.4% 73.8% 62.0% 70.3%

Garda region

Total Count 75 23 5 252 42 142 539

% within Victim 13.9% 4.3% .9% 46.8% 7.8% 26.3% 100.0%

of burglary

% within Home 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

Garda region

All of the respondents of this survey classified all types of crime which they believe
are the most common in the society. In table 5 the results show that 32.7% stated
crimes connected with drugs to be on the first place, followed by 15.9% for assaults
and on the third place participants placed murder crime – 13.1% of overall crime
cases in Ireland. The reasons for these results are the division of people and their
different lifestyles.

Group 56: Table5

$Irelandcrime Frequencies


N Percent Percent of Cases

Problems in Irelanda Burglary 79 7.5% 14.8%

Theft 121 11.4% 22.6%

Robbery 40 3.8% 7.5%

Drugs 347 32.7% 64.9%

Assault 169 15.9% 31.6%

Murder 139 13.1% 26.0%

gangland crime 50 4.7% 9.3%

fraud 29 2.7% 5.4%

other 10 .9% 1.9%

traffic offences 16 1.5% 3.0%

antisocial behaviour 30 2.8% 5.6%

kidnapping 10 .9% 1.9%

vandalism 11 1.0% 2.1%

gun crime 9 .8% 1.7%

Total 1060 100.0% 198.1%

As the research was progressing most of the people stated that their local regions
experience some crime not great deal of crimes. Group56:table6 shows that 23.9% of
the respondents said that they experience great deal of crime whereas 55.8% stated
that there is some crime in their local area. These results show that people are aware
of the crime levels in Ireland and according to these results some areas are more
affected than others that is why there is a difference in the percentages.

Group56: Table6

Amount of crime Garda region

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent

Valid great deal 129 23.9 23.9 23.9

some 301 55.8 55.8 79.8

very little 97 18.0 18.0 97.8

none 5 .9 .9 98.7

unsure 7 1.3 1.3 100.0

Total 539 100.0 100.0

According to table 7 the respondent group for most of the crimes in Ireland are young
peole age between 18 and 24. Table 7 shows that 49.4% of the respondents pointed
that the age group respondent is 18-24. The reasons for these results are simple. Most
of the young people are not unsettle and try to find their place in the society.

Group 56:Table7
Age responsible for high % crime * Respondent age Crosstabulation

Respondent age

18-24 25-44 45-64 65+ Total

Age <18 Count 41 7 10 3 61

responsible % within Age 67.2% 11.5% 16.4% 4.9% 100.0%
for high % responsible for high
crime % crime

% within 12.9% 8.4% 8.3% 23.1% 11.4%

Respondent age

18-24 Count 158 39 59 4 260

% within Age 60.8% 15.0% 22.7% 1.5% 100.0%

responsible for high
% crime

% within 49.5% 47.0% 48.8% 30.8% 48.5%

Respondent age

25-44 Count 61 11 23 5 100

% within Age 61.0% 11.0% 23.0% 5.0% 100.0%

responsible for high
% crime

% within 19.1% 13.3% 19.0% 38.5% 18.7%

Respondent age

45-64 Count 2 0 1 0 3

% within Age 66.7% .0% 33.3% .0% 100.0%

responsible for high
% crime

% within .6% .0% .8% .0% .6%

Respondent age

65+ Count 3 3 0 0 6

% within Age 50.0% 50.0% .0% .0% 100.0%

responsible for high
% crime

% within .9% 3.6% .0% .0% 1.1%

Respondent age

No age Count 54 23 28 1 106

group % within Age 50.9% 21.7% 26.4% .9% 100.0%
responsible for high
% crime

% within 16.9% 27.7% 23.1% 7.7% 19.8%

Respondent age
This table8 shows the local amounts of crime and their percentages. According to the
results 19.4 % of the crimes in Ireland are connected with drugs. Second types of
crimes are theft 18.3% and third most important is burglary 18.1%. these results show
most of the crimes in Ireland are not so drastic and destructive but they leave a scar on
the whole society.

Group 56: Table8

$LOCALCRIME Frequencies


N Percent Percent of Cases

Problemsa burglary 192 18.1% 35.8%

theft 194 18.3% 36.1%

robbery 35 3.3% 6.5%

drugs 206 19.4% 38.4%

assault 160 15.1% 29.8%

vandalism 120 11.3% 22.3%

traffic offences 53 5.0% 9.9%

antisocial behaviour 68 6.4% 12.7%

other 7 .7% 1.3%

gangland crime 9 .8% 1.7%

fraud 8 .8% 1.5%

murder 4 .4% .7%

gun crime 4 .4% .7%

Total 1060 100.0% 197.4%

a. Group

Table 9 shows results about crime reporting in the National newspapers. It shows that
the most influential broadsheets are Irish independent and Irish Times. In table9
54.1% of the respondents said that the language used in Irish Independent is factual
plus 29.7 % said the same for Irish Times. The reason for these results is that these are
daily newspapers and the reporters try to stay unbiased so they actually can minimixe
their influence on readers.
Group 56: table 9

Crime reporting Total

factuall sensation inapplic

y ally lot of publicity other don't know able

National Irish Count 124 8 17 1 2 160

newspaper Independent % within 77.5% 5.0% 10.6% .6% 5.0% 1.3% 100.0%
read National

% within 54.1% 5.8% 32.7% 14.3% 50.0% 2.2% 30.0%


Irish Times Count 68 2 1 3 2 0 76

% within 89.5% 2.6% 1.3% 3.9% 2.6% .0% 100.0%


% within 29.7% 1.4% 1.9% 42.9% 12.5% .0% 14.2%


Irish Count 2 0 1 0 0 0 3
Examiner % within 66.7% .0% 33.3% .0% .0% .0% 100.0%

% within .9% .0% 1.9% .0% .0% .0% .6%


Sun Count 1 30 7 0 1 0 39

% within 2.6% 76.9% 17.9% .0% 2.6% .0% 100.0%


% within .4% 21.7% 13.5% .0% 6.3% .0% 7.3%


Herald Count 15 13 7 2 0 0 37

% within 40.5% 35.1% 18.9% 5.4% .0% .0% 100.0%

Group56: table 10 is the last table which shows the change in Ireland over 5 years.
This table shows that 56.0 % of the respondents believe that crime levels increased
according to only 0.7% believe that crimes decreased. The results clearly show that
people are less secure in the protecting structure of the country and prefer to deal with
the changes on the daily basis.

Group 56: table10

Change over 5 yrs Ireland

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Percent

Valid increased greatly 189 35.1 35.5 35.5

Increased 302 56.0 56.7 92.1

no change 30 5.6 5.6 97.7

decreased 4 .7 .8 98.5

don't know 8 1.5 1.5 100.0

Total 533 98.9 100.0

Missing 0 6 1.1

Total 539 100.0

The main findings of the questionnaire survey were that people believe that the
respondent age group for most of the crimes in Ireland is between 18 and 24. Most of
the crimes are associated with burglary and theft which are not so dramatic but
stressful for the community. Media influence public perceptions because presents
crime as part of society’s every day life. Sometimes the reports and crime articles
involve emotional language style that encourages people to accept the writers’ point
of view. Crime levels vary across time and space. Most of the crimes are committed at
night and cities provide more space for committing crimes. Personal factors also play
an important role in crime commitments. Some crimes are committed because people
do not have other choice (economic instability, poverty) whereas some crimes are due
to personal way of improvement in society (peer pressure, attracts attention). Reasons
vary according to the cases. Often gardai are seen as the ones who keep the peace and
order in towns. But sometimes people do not believe in their capability of providing
secure environment.

The second part of this report is based on the interviews carried out by each member
of our group. The reasons for carried out the interviews were to interview people
who’s job is closely connected with the public and have broader view of the crime
levels in Ireland. Two members chose to interview gardai and two decided to
interview journalists.
Our key questions were all connected to different sides of life so we can get an
insight of the reasons and the causes of crime. First key questions were concern with
what influences people to commit crime. Second key question was do the
interviewees look and accept crime differently influenced by their job position. The
third question was what type of crimes appears in society and is it true that some of
them appear more often than others. And the final question which we thought was
essential for the interview was concern with social exclusion and social segregation
and the shaping of the society through crime.
The first question which was used for a start was every one of the interviewees to
identify under what influence people are pushed to break the law. Gardai point out
that according to their job experience, teenagers are the ones who get easily
manipulated and act irresponsible under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Also for
them the main influences were coming from peer pressure and group exclusion. The
other two interviews were with journalists who point out that for them most of the
crimes are committed under the influence of social and economic factors. Poverty and
social segregation are the main reasons for people to cross the line of law. The most
important finding from these two interviews was that journalists believe that
government and economic are responsible for the high crime levels.
Second key question was does people change their perceptions of crime regardless
their job or their social status. All of the respondents stated that they try to stay
unbiased in every case and situation. Journalists stated that when they are writing for
the local newspaper they are very careful of the language techniques used as people
know each other and often their reports can influence public perceptions of crime. It
was very interesting to find that on the other hand gardai try to stay as distant from the
public as possible and to reduce the contacts with them so their investigations can be
sufficient and more accurate.
The third research question was concerned with what types of crime appear more
often in modern Irish society. And the both gardai and journalists point out that
crimes such as burglary and assaults are the two main types which appear most often
in society. Gardai stated that most of the crimes are committed under the influence od
alcohol and drugs.
For our final key question gardai answered that they do not believe that there is a
social segregation in society. According to them people exclude themselves from
society, not society exclude the individuals. Journalists were more open and they said
that society changes and become more closed. People act more aggressive and social
exclusion is very important because when a person is ignored he/she is capable of
doing anything to attract attention.
Having completed all of the interviews the main findings that we came up were that
people are not scared so much from the Garda. Society is divided and people do not
interact with each other as much as before and this leads to increase in crime levels.
Certain crimes appear more than others. Some crimes are not reported that is why
their real number is mystery. Alcohol and drug consumptions are great hazards and
the main respondents for crime commitment.

It was very interesting experience to interview someone who is actually so closely
connected to the law system in Ireland and has an insight of what is going on. People
often overreact and misjudge so it is very important to relax for a while and them take
in account every single detail. The interview was significant for my course but it
thought me that people have to make their own choices and never take anyone else’s
opinion for granted. Because sometimes things are not like they seem.