The survey was carried out among 1,553 individuals aged 18 and over who live in private households. Full methodological information is provided on page 7.
General opinion and trust
One question focused on general views of the MPF. 55.3 per cent of the population had a positive/very positive opinion and 8.7 per cent had a negative/very negative opinion. 35.8 per cent expressed neither one nor the other (Chart 1).
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Note: ‘Very negative’ and ‘Did not respond’ are Under represented.
Figures based on a relative margin of error of 30 per cent or more must be treated with caution. Refer to methodological note 5.
The majority of the population (90.0 per cent) have trust in the MPF, with varying levels. 44.9 per cent had a high level of trust, another 45.1 per cent expressed a moderate level, while 9.7 per cent trusted the police slightly or not at all. Table 1 shows the breakdown regarding this theme.
Respondents gave reasons justifying their trust in the police. 48.9 per cent of those trusting the MPF (very or extremely) perceived the police as acting with fairness, dignity and respect. 40.2 per cent said that their presence is felt, while 31.5 per cent said that the police acted when called. Respondents who do not fully trust the police also gave their reasons. 27.6 per cent of this group said that the police are never around, 24.5 per cent said that the police do not act with fairness, dignity and respect, and 19.4 per cent said that the police failed to act or respond when called. Respondents could have chosen more than one attribute to their trust or mistrust. The full set of reasons given can be followed in Charts 2 and 3 below.
Includes respondents who answered ‘Very’ or ‘Extremely'
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Includes respondents who answered ‘Moderately’, ‘Slightly’, or ‘Not at all’.
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Specific characteristics Respondents were asked about their perceptions of the MPF on specific characteristics ranging from integrity to impartiality. 59.6 per cent perceived the MPF to have a high level of integrity against 27.1 per cent who neither agreed nor disagreed with this proposition. 68.5 per cent saw them as providing a professional level of service and 54.1 per cent as impartial enforcers of the law. Those who neither agreed nor disagreed with the professionalism of the MPF made up 22.0 per cent and those who neither agreed nor disagreed with the impartiality of the MPF accounted for 30.0 per cent. The questions on perceptions of specific characteristics are elaborated in Chart 4.
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Experiences involving the Malta Police Force
Nearly one third of the population (32.7 per cent) had some type of contact with the MPF during the 12 months preceding the survey. Contact was defined as lodging a report, being involved in an accident, being questioned, being stopped during a police inspection, issued a fine by a police officer, and others. Reference can be made to methodological note 7 for the definition of contact. Two thirds rated their experience as good or very good, while 18.2 per cent rated it as bad or very bad. 14.8 per cent rated their experience had been neither good nor bad.
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Type of service
Respondents were asked about the type of service they would prefer to see an increase in, given a choice. 79.5 per cent would prefer more visibility of police officers on the road and 18.0 per cent were in favour of access to a nearer police station (Table 2).
Image of the Malta Police Force
Just over half of the respondents (53.2 per cent) said that they do not follow the MPF on social media. 30.3 per cent observed that the MPF had undergone a good or very good level of modernisation in its public image and operations during the year preceding the survey. But the biggest segment – 48.6 per cent – thought that modernisation in these two aspects had been moderate. The breakdown regarding this aspect is given in Table 3.
Community Policing Teams
Community Policing is built on the concept of community building and problem solving. The Malta Police Force is investing in the creation of Community Policing Teams in many localities, with the objective of rendering visible and effective service by training and deploying more community-oriented police officers. Over two-thirds of the population were aware of Community Policing Teams (CPT), although extent of this awareness varied according to the regions where community policing is implemented and the regions where it has not been rolled out yet. Chart 6 shows that residents in CPT-implemented regions are significantly more aware of community policing – by 9.4 percentage points – than residents living in regions without this system. A map showing the police region classification is provided on page 6.
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4. Data collection and quality control
Data was collected by means of Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) between 16th May and 14th June 2022. During a CATI, respondents are contacted by telephone and data obtained from respondents is entered into a computer. To limit interviewer bias, each sampling unit was randomly assigned to interviewers. An electronic data collection tool was designed in line with the questionnaire developed for this survey and was made available in both English and Maltese.
A series of measures were implemented to ensure that optimum quality was achieved. These consisted of quality checks and in-built validation rules in the data collection program to limit the occurrence of non-sampling errors. The data-entry program had a number of in-built validations so that skip patterns were executed exactly as intended while responses were restricted to a specific range. In addition, constant supervision during the data collection stage ensured a harmonised data collection process. Finally, the dataset was subject to a series of other checks in order to identify any remaining incorrect or logically misleading data.”
5. Weighting of results and treatment of errors
Survey data was weighted to correct for any biases present in the final sample of participating units arising from variations in response rates observed in different sub-groups. This serves to align and gross-up sample estimates with the benchmark in terms of sex, age group and region, in so doing representing the total number of persons aged 18 and over, residing in private households in Malta.
The survey was subject to two main sources of errors, technically referred to as ‘sampling errors’ and ‘non-sampling errors’. While sampling errors can be estimated from the sample, care must be taken when comparing such estimated figures with the population. The ‘margin of error’, which constitutes the sampling error, quantifies uncertainty about a survey result and expresses the amount of sampling error in a survey’s results. This is normally associated with a statistical level of confidence in such a way as to make it possible to calculate confidence intervals of the form ‘estimate ± margin of error’. Consequently, the ‘relative margin of error’ is simply the margin of error expressed as a percentage of the quantity to which it refers.
Figures based on a relative margin of error of 30 per cent or more or which are calculated on a small number of reporting persons must be treated with caution as they may not be statistically representative due to a large percentage of error assigned. Refer to estimates of precision below (Table 5). Such occurrences are noted within the respective tables of results (u).”
|Percentage rate (p)||Number of persons (N)|
6. Population characteristics
The target population for this survey consisted of all persons aged 18 years and over residing in private households on the Maltese Islands. Using the latest household population estimate data as at the end of 2021 (figures are compiled basing on updates to the Census of Population and Housing 2011), an estimated total of 426,018 persons were eligible to participate in the survey. It should be noted that the results presented in this report refer to the weighted survey data and have been grossed up to cover the total population aged 18 years and over, estimated to be residing in private households.
The distribution by sex shows that males made up 52 per cent of the target population, while 48 per cent were female. The largest proportion of the target population was made up of persons aged 55 years and over (35.9 per cent), furthermore persons aged 35 to 54 years made up 33.4 per cent of the target population while those aged 18 to 34 years made up 30.7 per cent of the population. Just over half of the target population (51.3 per cent) resided in regions in which the Malta Police Force do not have a Community Policing Team (CPT), while the remaining 48.7 per cent resided in regions which do (refer to Map 1).
|Target population characteristics||Number of persons||Percentage|
|Total persons living in private households aged 18 and over||426018||100|
|By age group|
|Regions with CPT present||207,639||48.7|
|Regions without CPT present||218,379||51.3|
7. Contact with the police includes filing a police report, being questioned by the police, being involved in an accident, being stopped during a police inspection, being issued a fine by a police officer, being present during a public relation activity organised by the Malta Police Force, and/or making use of administrative services offered, for example the Criminal Records Unit, the Police Licences Office, and the Weapons Office.
8. References to this news release are to be cited appropriately.
9. A detailed news release calendar is available online.
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