Publication - Research and analysis

Public Perceptions of Organised Crime in Scotland

Published: 23 Sep 2013
Part of:
Research
ISBN:
9781782569152

This is a report of a survey into public perceptions of organised crime in Scotland.

13 page PDF

385.0 kB

13 page PDF

385.0 kB

Contents
Public Perceptions of Organised Crime in Scotland
2 MAIN FINDINGS

13 page PDF

385.0 kB

2 MAIN FINDINGS

Awareness of organised crime

When asked what types of illegal activity they typically associate with organised crime, people in Scotland are most likely to cite 'drug dealing/trafficking' (72%), followed by money laundering (20%) and 'people/human trafficking for sexual or labour exploitation'.

Figure 2.1

Figure 2.1

Base: All (1,001)
*Top 10 responses
Source: Ipsos MORI

Just 8% of respondents were unable to name any type of organised crime activity, with women (10%) and 18-24 year olds (13%) most likely to say 'don't know'. Further, respondents living in the most deprived areas of Scotland were generally more likely than those living in the most affluent areas to be unable to name any type of organised crime activity (12% of those living in the most deprived areas compared to 4% of those living in the most affluent areas).

Experience of organised crime

As Figure 2.2 below illustrates, one in ten respondents (10%) say that they have been personally affected by organised crime in the last three years. There are a few significant subgroup differences, however:

  • retired people are least likely to say they have been affected (5%).
  • those who think that organised crime is a problem in their neighbourhood are more likely to say that they have been personally affected (18%) than those who don't think it's a problem (7%).
  • similarly, respondents who think that organised crime is a serious problem in Scotland are more likely to say that they have been affected themselves (11%), compared with those who don't see it as a serious national issue (4%).

Figure 2.2

Figure 2.2

Base: All (1,001)
Source: Ipsos MORI

Figure 2.3 below shows that among those who have been personally affected by organised crime in the last three years, respondents are most likely to have experienced a theft (29%).

Figure 2.3

Figure 2.3

Base: All who have been personally affected by organised crime in the last three years (102)
*Top 5 responses
Source: Ipsos MORI

Extent of organised crime

While nearly seven in ten people in Scotland (69%) think that organised crime is not a serious problem in their neighbourhood, just over a quarter (27%) perceive it to be a serious issue, with those living in urban (31%) and the most deprived areas (46%) most likely to regard it as a problem.

Although based on a small sample size (98), the data indicates that those who have been personally affected by organised crime in the last three years are more likely to feel that organised crime is a serious problem in their neighbourhood, than those who have not (50% vs. 25%).

Despite not tending to think that it is a problem in their neighbourhood, the majority of Scots (84%) consider organised crime to be a serious issue in Scotland, with women (87%), those aged 55+ (88%) and those living in the most deprived areas (90%) most likely to regard it as a problem. As might be expected, people living in Scotland who have themselves been personally affected by organised crime in the last three years are more likely to regard organised crime as a serious problem in Scotland, than those who have not (93% vs. 83%).

Figure 2.4 Extent of organised crime

Figure 2.4

Base: All (1,001)
Source: Ipsos MORI

Who is most affected?

As figure 2.5 below illustrates, people in Scotland believe that young people (38%), older people (25%) and those on low income/from deprived backgrounds (16%) are most likely to be affected by organised crime in Scotland. Those aged 18-24 are particularly likely to think that young people (51%) and older people (41%) are most affected by organised crime.

Figure 2.5

Figure 2.5

Base: All (1,001)
*Top 10 responses
Source: Ipsos MORI

The impact of organised crime

Figure 2.6 below illustrates that people living in Scotland believe the main impacts of organised crime in Scotland to be 'fear in the community' (21%), 'drugs/drug abuse' (17%) and 'less money being available for public services' (12%). Men were particularly likely to cite drugs as an impact (20% vs. 14% of women). One in five respondents (21%) were not able to name any impacts of organised crime, with women (25%) and retired people (29%) most likely to be unable to be able to name any impacts.

Figure 2.6

Figure 2.6

Base: All (1,001)
*Top 5 responses
Source: Ipsos MORI

Who is responsible for tackling organised crime?

People living in Scotland are largely in agreement that the police have the main role in tackling organised crime (88%), with the Scottish Government (38%), local communities (19%) and 'everyone' (15%) also thought to have some responsibility. Those living in the least deprived quintile are most likely to cite the police (94%) and Scottish Government (45%) as responsible for tackling organised crime.

As Table 2.1 below shows, those who have been personally affected by organised crime in the last three years are significantly less likely to cite the police as having a role in tackling organised crime (77% vs. 88% overall), but are also more likely to say that 'everyone' has a responsibility (24% vs. 15% overall).

Table 2.1 Who do you think has a role in tackling organised crime in Scotland?

Total Have you been personally affected by organised crime in the last three years?
Yes No
Police 88% 77% 90%*
Scottish Government 38% 40% 38%
Local communities 19% 23% 19%
Everyone 15% 24%* 15%
Councils 11% 7% 11%

*Statistically significant difference

How effective are the police?

Nearly two thirds of respondents (63%) think that the police are effective in tackling organised crime, with people aged 55+ (71%) and those living in the least deprived areas (71%) most likely to be positive. Just under one in five (17%) say that the police are ineffective, though this figure rises to 23% among those who say that organised crime is a serious problem in their neighbourhood, perhaps reflecting respondents' frustration about levels of crime and anti-social behaviour where they live.

Figure 2.7

Figure 2.7

Base: All (1,001)
Source: Ipsos MORI

Those who report having been personally affected by organised crime in the last three years, and who are therefore perhaps more likely to have been in contact with the police, are significantly less likely to say that the police are effective in tackling organised crime (49% vs. 63% overall).

Reporting organised crime

Four in five people living in Scotland (81%) say that they would report someone who they suspected of being involved in organised crime, and this figure rises to 85% among women, 88% among those living in the two least deprived areas and 90% among rural dwellers. Around one in ten (8%) are unsure of what they would do.

Among those who say they would be likely to report it someone they suspected of being involved in organised crime (n=834), the vast majority say they would report it to the police (96%). Far smaller numbers say they would contact their local authority (6%) or Crimestoppers (5%), and other reasons cited were far less common.


Contact

Email: Ben Cavanagh