Public Consultation Report
Armagh District Policing Partnership DRAFT Consultation Report 2004
Armagh District Policing Partnership has a statutory duty to make arrangements to
obtain the views of the public on policing, contribute to local policing plans and
priorities and monitor the police performance in the district.
This report highlights the results from consultation carried out in the Armagh area by
both the DPP and the Armagh Community Safety Partnership, including:
NISRA Household Survey 2004
MORI Focus Group Consultation
Armagh Community Safety Partnership Youth Focus Groups
Community Safety Schools Survey
DPP Youth Engagement Meeting
Overview of CPLC Meetings
The issues and concerns the various consultations have highlighted will be examined
by DPP members, and will form the basis for discussion between the Partnership and
the District Commander in the formulation of targets for the 2005/06 local Policing
This information will be used to investigate how police resources can be used more
effectively and to monitor police performance against current targets.
Armagh DPP recognises the part played by people who took part in any of the
information gathering exercises which has provided vital information to help shape
local policing and would like to thank everyone for their contribution and support.
Thanks also to Armagh Community Safety Partnership for allowing the DPP to use
the results from consultation carried out by the CSP.
2.0 NISRA Household Survey
The Central Survey Unit of the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
(NISRA) was commissioned to carry out the survey on behalf of the Northern Ireland
Policing Board and District Policing Partnerships (DPP’s). This postal survey
involved questionnaires being sent to just over 60,000 households across Northern
Ireland (NI) selected at random from the Valuation and Lands Agency list of
This is the second District Policing Partnership Survey to be carried out by the Central
Survey Unit of the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, the first being
carried out in 2003.
The survey findings will assist Armagh DPP in monitoring police performance and
along with other forms of local consultation they will contribute to the development
of the local policing priorities contained in the Local Policing Plan for the area.
One in 10 homes in the Armagh City & District Council area received the survey
which contained core questions asked by the Policing Board and a variety of
questions on local policing issues submitted by Armagh DPP. Of the questionnaires
sent to households in Armagh 25 % were completed and returned.
Biggest Perceived Problems
When asked to indicate the biggest problem in their area the following five concerns
were highlighted by the respondents:
Domestic Burglary - 59%, a reduction on last years 65%
Speeding - 51%, an increase on last years 48%
Underage Drinking - 48%, a reduction on last years 51%
Young people causing nuisance - 41%, an increase on last years 37%
Vandalism (e.g. graffiti) - 35% a reduction on last years 36%
Four of these priorities remain the same as last year. Concerns about attacks on the
elderly have reduced from 47% last year to 32% and has dropped out of the top five
although it is still at the upper end of the scale. Vandalism has moved up into the top
five concerns since the previous survey.
When asked to indicate what issues the PSNI should concentrate on the top five work
Crime Prevention – 63%, same percentage as last year
Beat/Foot Patrolling – 60%, an increase on last years 59%
Investigating Crime – 57%, a reduction on last years 58%
Prompt response to emergencies – 63%, an increase on last years 58%
Increased involvement with Young People – 39%, an increase on last years 37%
As with the previous question these priorities are similar to last year, with the
exception of Vehicle Patrolling which has been replaced in the top five by increased
involvement with Young People
Satisfaction with Policing in the District
The number of those surveyed who were very satisfied/satisfied with local policing
has risen slightly from last years figures to 33%, from 30%. Those were neither
satisfied nor dissatisfied has also risen to 42% from 34%. Those who were dissatisfied
or very dissatisfied has reduced from 11% to 9%.
Foot Patrols – there is no significant change in attitudes to the levels of foot patrols
amongst respondents who were satisfied or very satisfied with foot patrolling (15%),
but there is a 10% reduction in those that were Dissatisfied or Very dissatisfied, from
57% last year to 47%.
Vehicle patrols – levels of satisfaction regarding vehicle patrols has increased on last
years figure of 19% being very satisfied/satisfied to 23% this year, and those that
indicated that they were dissatisfied/very dissatisfied reduced from 47% last year to
39% in this survey.
Questions relating to District Policing Partnerships (DPPs)
A number of questions relating to the work of DPPs were included in the
questionnaire to ascertain the public’s knowledge and perception of their local DPP.
Have you heard of DPPs?
The number of respondents who had heard of DPP has risen by 8% on last years
results from 60% to 68%, and those who had not has fallen to 24% from 35%.
Do you know who the members of your Local DPP are?
The number of respondents who are aware of the members of Armagh DPP has
dropped from 20% last year to 17% this year. Those who are not aware of the
members of the DPP also reduced from 75% to 70% from last year.
Do you know how to contact your local DPP?
The number of respondents who knew how to contact the DPP has increased from
15% to 18% from the last survey and those who did not know has reduced from 77%
Four additional questions about DPPs were added to this years survey:
Do you think you local DPP is doing a good job?
In answer to this question, 15% of respondents replied yes and 15% replied no, 69%
indicated that they didn’t know.
How confident are you that your local DPP is helping to address local policing
In answer to this question 32% were very confident/confident, and 59% were not
confident/not at all confident that the DPP in Armagh is helping to address local
How confident are you that the membership of your local DPP reflects your District
42% of respondents were very confident/confident that the membership of Armagh
DPP was reflective of the area, and 45% were not confident/not at all confident that
this was the case.
Are you prepared to contact your local DPP regarding local policing?
50% of those surveyed stated that they would contact Armagh DPP about local
policing, and 19% said that they would not. 30% of respondents didn’t know.
3.0 MORI Focus Group Consultation
Following on from the 2003 Postal Survey Armagh DPP carried out focus group work
with local people to further investigate the policing matters which were important to
Six focus groups were conducted in Armagh. Recruitment questionnaires were
devised by MORI MRC for each group and approved in advance by Armagh DPP.
The following focus groups were conducted in the Armagh City Hotel in February
Age Focus Group
16-20 years Urban/rural mix (Protestant)
16-20 years Urban/rural mix (Catholic)
25-50 years Housing estate (Protestant)
25-50 years Housing estate (Catholic)
60+ years Urban/rural mix (Mixed Religion)
25-50 years Rural (Mixed Religion)
Rural is defined as those areas not in the five main population centres (Armagh,
Tandragee, Keady, Richhill, Markethill), A list of housing estates classified by
religion was provided by Armagh DPP and recruiters selected participants on this
The main perceived problems in Armagh include:
Underage drinking: This is the main problem in the Armagh area. Youths
engage in intimidating and abusive behaviour towards local residents which
can escalate into more serious anti-social behaviour
Drugs are becoming more of a problem in Armagh and are more and more
accessible. They are sold in clubs, car parks and in schools. Participants
mention a possible link with the paramilitaries
Underage drinking and drugs are seen as a lesser problem in rural areas
Vandalism is linked to underage drinking and is seen as a problem in the area
Paramilitary activity is still mentioned, although the focus has changed from
politics to organised crime. Paramilitaries control certain crimes and impose
rules, which can be seen as good by some residents because it lessened crime
in the past. Some however, feel that paramilitary activity deters police from
carrying out their job
Many residents feel alienated and uncomfortable in certain areas or situations
due to sectarian tension. Many have adapted what they wear for example so
as not to cause offence or shy away from certain areas
Burglary is a particular problem for older residents and those living in rural
Attacks on the elderly are seen as more common in rural areas and fear is
fuelled by recent media coverage.
Perceptions of Responsibility & Suggested Solutions
Most residents believe the responsibility for Armagh’s problems lie with a mix
of police, parents, the community, schools and the government or council.
Parents are seen as responsible for controlling their children although many
fail to do so for various reasons
The Government should provide stricter sentences for offenders and ensure
that offenders are convicted
Councils and local communities should provide more facilities for young
Communities should also set up neighbourhood watch schemes
Schools should encourage cross-community events and set up after school
activities so as to deter young people from crime.
Perceptions of PSNI
Overall satisfaction levels with the PSNI are very low. Participants call for
less selective policing and less leniency from the police
Police should crack down harder on crimes such as underage drinking, be less
afraid to go into certain areas, and directly intervene more than observing
Response times are widely criticised, particularly in rural areas
Residents believe there is a lack of police presence and call for the police to be
more visible at flash times and in the most troublesome areas.
Awareness & attitudes towards DPP
Awareness of the DPPs is limited. Respondents believe Armagh DPP should
demonstrate how they can carry through the views of the public
4.0 Armagh Community Safety Partnership Youth Focus Groups
Armagh Community Safety Partnership undertook this consultation as part of the
Stage 2 Community Safety Audit and the results will contribute to the Community
Safety Strategy which will be published in June 2005. The youth focus groups were
conducted with groups of young people between the ages 11-17 and were reflective of
the urban and rural nature of the Council area and also the religious make up of the
The principle findings of the focus groups were:
Young people are routinely involved in acts of vandalism and anti-social
Underage drinking is commonplace among young people and involves both
boys and girls. Underage drinking occurs most often at weekends, with young
people as young as 11 years of age reported to be engaged in such activity
The Police are active in pursuing public underage drinking activity
A lack of youth activities/facilities is reported as the main reason for engaging
in underage drinking.
Young people enjoy the drop-in centres/programmes that are available to them
on a limited basis and would welcome more access to such initiatives
The taking of drugs is not reported to be an issue although ther is
acknowledgement that the use of drugs is on the increase
Perceptions of the PSNI are not good.
5.0 Community Safety Schools Survey
Undertaken by the Community Safety Partnership a structure questionnaire was
distributed to 250 post primary school children in the council area between the ages of
11017. Once again the survey was reflective of the geographic, religious and gender
background of the area. The questionnaire was broken down into the following
sections: Road safety, alcohol, drugs, smoking, truancy, bullying, wapons, vandalism,
contact with the Police and fire safety.
The main findings which are relevant to the DPPs consultation report are:
76% of respondents realised that young male drivers cause most accidents and
50% realise that hitting someone at 30mph would probably result in death.
90% of respondents understood the ramifications of driving dangerously i.e.
possible imprisonment and s a consequence 54% stated that knowing this
would make them drive more carefully.
42% of respondents indicated that they consumed alcohol (56% male and 44%
female). 43% indicated that they consumed alcohol less than once per week
and 5% 2-3 times per week.
12% of those who drank alcohol obtained it from an off-licence and 6% from a
bar or club.
85% replied that they know it was illegal to consume or purchase alcohol
under the age of 18.
58% of respondents indicated that they had never carried out any form of
vandalism, 33% claimed that they had committed one off acts of vandalism
and 5% indicated that they were persistently involved in this type of activity.
When asked had they ever been moved on when gathering in the street 21%
reported that this had happened to them. 14% of those claimed to have done
nothing wrong with a further 17% indicating that they had been moved on for
causing annoyance to residents or shopkeepers(4%), causing a disturbance
(7%) or public drinking (5%).
46% of those questioned had never had any dealings with the Police Service.
21% had met the Police Services as a result of patrolling, 9% as a result of
committing an offence and 4% because they were the victime of an offence.
20% of respondents indicated that the Police had not been sympathetic to them
even though they had done nothing wrong.
6.0 DPP Youth Engagement Meeting
It was recognised that in the recent NISRA survey only 2% of respondents fell into
the 16-24 age group, the total respondents amounted to 490 people, which means that
only 10 people in this age group gave us their priorities for policing.
The members of Armagh DPP realised that young people have a voice and views that
they would like to express about policing in their area. It was decided that young
people should be given the opportunity to ask questions, and tell the PSNI what their
priorities are for policing in their area through a meeting in public. This also
coincided with Local Democracy Week.
A lot of work behind the scenes went into making the meeting held on the 12 October
a success. I worked closely with the local Schools Liaison Officer, Con. Dessie Black
and Area Commander, Chief Inspector Hugh Hume to agree a format that the PSNI
felt comfortable with and that would be interesting for the students who would attend.
All eight of the post primary schools in the area were invited to bring along students
studying citizenship or politics.
I met with teachers and information packs were provided for each student to enable
them to do some preliminary work before the meeting. Each school was asked to
submit two questions to the District Commander and to tell us what their policing
Our members were delighted with the excellent turnout, over 100 pupils attended.
Questions were submitted about police presence, 50/50 recruitment, closure of rural
police stations, Roads Policing and domestic burglary strategies, and careers in the
The format for the meeting was less formal than our normal meetings in public and an
open forum was held to allow the audience to ask questions of the DPP members and
Finally, each school presented their policing priorities for the district, which included:
Public drinking and underage drinking
Child Abuse and Domestic Violence
Attacks on the Elderly
Drugs and alcohol Abuse
7.0 CPLC Priorities
There are three Community Police Liaison Committees (CPLCs) operating in the
Armagh City and District Council area: Markethill, Loughgall, and Tandragee.
Armagh DPP provides funding to enable the groups to meet regularly to discuss
issues around crime and local policing. The table below demonstrates the main issues
discussed by each of the CPLCs.
CPLC DATE ISSUE
Loughgall CPLC Jan 2004 Car Crime
Feb 2004 Speeding
March 2004 Car Crime
April 2004 Traffic Offences
May 2004 Burglary
September 2004 Car Crime
October 2004 Road Safety
Markethill Feb 2004 Speeding & Parking
March 2004 Speeding & Parking
April 2004 Speeding & Parking
May 2004 Neighbourhood Watch
September 2004 Policing of Band Parade
Use of Police Resources
October 2004 Policing at Halloween
Road Traffic Issues
Tandragee May 2004 Traffic Matters
August 2004 Traffic Management
October 2004 Traffic Issues