English title: Trust in the police after July 22nd
Author(s): Marit Egge - Jon Strype - Gunnar Thomassen -
Type: Report, working paper
The level of trust in the Norwegian police is high compared to most countries and the stability over time suggests that trust is a steady trait of society that doesn’t change abruptly. However some events are of such magnitude and affects so many people that it is natural to assume that they might have an impact on trust. The terror attack in Norway on July 22nd, 2011, is an event that could potentially influence attitudes toward the police. This study examines whether citizens´ general views of the police have changed after the terror attacks, how Norwegians perceive the police actions and judgments during the terror attacks, and to what extent the perceptions of police performance on July 22nd are related to general trust in the police. Three waves of telephone surveys have been presented to representative samples of the Norwegian population (August 2011, November 2011, and March 2012). The results show that just after the July 22nd attacks, the police was viewed in a very positive manner. This applies to the general trust level, as well as more specific views of police actions and judgments during the terror incidents. However, it appears that this initial effect was temporary, and that the public’s view of the police is now more in line with previous years, although still more positive than before the incidents. In addition to the police, a wide spectrum of participants, both institutions and individuals were involved in the operations following the terror attacks in Oslo and Utøya. When comparing the perception of police performance to the perception of how other participants performed we found that local volunteers received the highest mean score of the parties included in the study. Further, hospitals, paramedics, and relief organisations (Red Cross, Norwegian People’s Aid) received highly positive ratings by the respondents in the study. A majority of respondents also had a positive impression of how the police handled the events on July 22nd. However, in comparison to other individuals and institutions who were rated, the police were rated lowest in our survey.
Institution: Norwegian police university college
Number of pages: 39