Findings from the 2020/21 NI Safe Community Telephone Survey

The Department of Justice (DoJ) has published the Research and Statistical Bulletin ‘Findings from the 2020/21 Northern Ireland Safe Community Telephone Survey’ (NISCTS).


An Official Statistics publication, the bulletin focuses on key modules contained within the NISCTS relating to:

  • experience of crime
  • perceptions of crime
  • perceptions of policing and justice
  • perceptions of organised crime



  • Results from the 2020/21 NISCTS indicate that most adults/households did not experience a crime asked about in the survey. Latest findings estimate that 3.9% of adults/households were victims of at least one crime measured through the survey during the 12 months prior to interview.
  • Respondents were more positive in their perception of crime trends in their local area than at the regional level with 25% believing local crime levels had increased in the preceding two years compared with 55% for Northern Ireland as a whole.
  • One-in-ten (10%) respondents expressed a high level of worry about burglary with a similar proportion, 8%, very worried about becoming a victim of violent crime.  Of vehicle owners, 5% were very worried about becoming a victim of car crime.
  • Overall public confidence in the police and police accountability arrangements in Northern Ireland as a whole (based on a seven-strand composite measure) was 86% in 2020/21.
  • In terms of the local police, findings suggest that 62% rated their local police as doing an excellent or good job. When asked about overall confidence in their local police, three-in-four (75%) respondents stated that, when taking everything into account, they had confidence in the police in their area.
  • Two-in-three (67%) respondents were very or fairly confident that the criminal justice system as a whole in Northern Ireland is effective while almost three-in-four (73%) felt it was fair.
  • Just over one-in-five (21%) participants considered organised crime to be very or fairly widespread in their local area with a quarter of respondents (25%) believing the level of organised crime had increased in their area over the previous 12 months. 
  • In terms of paramilitary activity, 15% felt it was widespread in their area. Of those who responded it occurred, more than four-in-five (83%) felt there were either strong or some links between paramilitary activity and ongoing organised crime.
  • Of respondents who considered paramilitary groups to have influence in their area, 45% considered it as a ‘negative’ influence, while a further 31% felt the influence was ‘more negative than positive’. 


To view the reports please click here.