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IRI Survey Reveals Increased Dissatisfaction to Police in Georgia

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, May 31
The recent poll by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research reads that dissatisfaction of Georgians with Police and other state institutions is growing.

However, the survey also enlists also revealed a more positive trend in attitudes toward local institutions.

Stephen Nix, IRI Regional Director for Eurasia stated that not long time ago the police were considered an exemplar of Georgia’s commitment to reducing corruption, but now the discontent of the population in this regard has increased.

“The dramatic decrease in trust reflected in this latest IRI poll is troubling, and appears to be closely related to the popular perceptions that corruption and crime have increased over the last two years,” he stressed.

The organization underlined that now 50% of people trust police while in 2013 the indicator was 88%.

“Public trust has also slipped in several other key institutions over the same time frame, including the Cabinet of Ministers (down 45 points), the parliament (down 47 points), the Office of the Prosecutor (down 34 points), and the courts (down 30 points),” the report reads.

As for positive trends, approval of local authorities has risen from 27 percent in March 2016 to 43% now. The regions with the two highest approval ratings, Samtskhe-Javakheti (60%) and Adjara (59%), were also among the regions rated as the most transparent and open.

According to Nix, this improvement indicates that the authorities’ efforts to engage with citizens are paying off.

“It is particularly encouraging to see that these gains are most pronounced in regions with large minority populations who have been marginalized in the past,” he added.

The poll also showed that the majority of Georgians continues to support pro-Western foreign policy. 77% percent believe that Georgian foreign policy should either be “only pro-European Union and the West” (27 percent) or pro-Western but keep up relations with Russia (50%).

Meanwhile 76 percent support dialogue with Russia as it has dropped by six points since March 2017 and by 19 points since February 2013.

The survey was conducted between April 10-22, 2018, observing opinions of 1,500 permanent residents of Georgia.