In its regular March survey, the Public Opinion Research Centre concentrated among other things on the opinions of citizens regarding the length of sentences for some selected criminal acts, moreover on views about at which degree sentences imposed by courts are adequate and last but not least the question of if capital punishment should exist or not. We consider sentences imposed by court to be more likely inadequate, particularly in the case of violent criminal activities.
What is the picture of crime structure in the eyes of the Czech public? Does it correspond to reality, or is it distorted by the influence of media news or personal experience? And what is the notion of the success rate of the police when investigating some criminal acts? Is it rather underestimated or on the contrary overestimated by the public? These are some of the issues dealt with by the March survey, carried out by Public Opinion Research Centre.
Currently, 38% of respondents are satisfied and 21 % dissatisfied with the way the police look after the order and safety of citizens in their neighbourhood. Another 38% are “neither satisfied, nor dissatisfied” with the activities of the police. Moreover, the research concentrated on how safe citizens felt in their neighbourhoods and inside their homes. The performed survey has shown that the feeling of safety in one’s own home has changed only relatively little in the course of the last five years: most citizens feel safe during the day, even after dark; however the feeling grows weaker after dusk.
In all the monitored countries (CZ, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania) supporters of capital punishment have a quite significant majority. On a relative basis, the highest number of them is in Romania (79%), on the other hand in Lithuania there is the smallest group of capital punishment opponents (15%). Slightly lower numbers of capital punishment supporters were recorded in Poland (74%) and Lithuania (73%).
The experience of having a car broken into has been acquired by 17% of respondents or other members of the household within the last 12 months. Thefts up to the value of CZK 3,000 (16 %) are also quite common. Approximately every tenth respondent disclosed that a bribe had been demanded from him or another member of the household (11 %), the sum of items of a value exceeding CZK 3,000 (10 %) had been stolen from him, or his cottage or chalet had been burgled (9 %).
87% of respondents have consumed alcoholic drinks at some point within the last 12 months, one quarter admitted consuming alcoholic drinks at least twice a week. About a third of the respondents know somebody, who uses cannabis-based drugs, one quarter has been offered such a drug and 16% admitted trying it. Experience with ecstasy was confessed to by 4% of the citizens approached. A quarter of the respondents have met hard drug users, 12% were offered a hard drug and 2% tried it.