Safe as houses: Poles feel safe and secure at home

The vast majority of Poles regard their local environment as safe and secure. Kalbar/TFN

For the vast majority of Poles one of the safest places on earth is Poland. Almost 93 percent of them find their local environment peaceful and secure, while 86 percent consider their country safe, according to the last CBOS / Social Opinion Research Centre survey.

The reasons for this, perhaps, can be found in the recent police statistics. They show a decrease in the number of crimes committed and a substantial increase in detection rates.

Recorded crimes dropped by 9,710 cases in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period last year. The reduction has mainly come in categories such as assault, robbery, burglary and petty theft. As a consequence the number of cases under investigation has also declined.

“This is due to the better preventive policies we have undertaken in recent months,” Mariusz Ciarka, spokesman of the Polish Police Headquarters, told TFN. “We have become more present in schools and we organise discussions with senior citizens on how to raise their awareness of fraud. We also involve the media. For example, one time we publicised how a very popular scam called ‘grandson’ works. A criminal contacts an old person and wheedles money out of them by claiming they are close relatives or are acting on a relative’s behalf.”

The crime figures have also benefited with more police on the beat.

“Getting more staff helps us become more effective,” said Ciarka. “We have been able to increase the number of vacancies by 1,000, and we have now 103,000 police officers in the country. The staff have also been improving their skills. But, of course, it is also due to technical progress because we now use better technology. Due to all this we have increased the numbers of cases solved by 3 percent more than last year.”

The police also for the first time since 1999 have become the most trusted institution in society, ahead of the armed forces, local authorities and the media.

According to CBOS, students, local authority and office workers, and the self-employed have the best assessment of public safety with 96 percent of them believing that safety is widespread. People with right-wing beliefs are more inclined (93 percent) to assess the safety situation in a positive light.

Those who feel least safe at home are those who devote themselves to religious practices several times a week, with 17 percent of them regarding their environment as insecure.