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Thin blue line is failing to beat gangsters -- poll

ONE-in-five young Dubliners has been a victim of crime in the past two years, new research for the Herald shows.

Some 21pc of 18 to 24-year-olds say they have personally been the subject of criminal activity.

A total of one-in-six of the capital's residents has been a victim, with the figure being higher for men (17pc) than women (15pc), the study reveals.

However, gardai still enjoy the confidence of the majority of Dubliners in dealing with 'ordinary' crime, though this is not the case for gangland activity.

Despite their vulnerability, the elderly are actually the safest group.

Our study -- carried out by Millward Brown Lansdowne -- shows 12pc of pensioners had an offence committed against them in the past two years, with the figure ranging from 15pc to 21pc for other age categories.





Massive

The poll was conducted among 1,000 Dubliners aged 18 and over in face-to-face interviews.

A higher proportion of people in the wealthier ABC1 category -- 17pc -- said they were victims of crime than in the C2DE group. The figure for the latter group was 15pc.

When the research is examined according to employment status, the figures are highest for business people.

A massive 28pc of the self-employed said they were victims of crime in the past two years, while the proportion of employees was 16pc.

This could be a reflection of the higher rates of crime against shopkeepers and other small business owners.

According to the research, An Garda Siochana retains the confidence of the public to deal with 'ordinary' crime like burglaries, vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

Some 62pc of respondents to the survey said they had faith in gardai to handle this type of criminality.

Confidence was highest (75pc) among the over-65s and lowest (55pc) in the 35- to 49-year-old age category.

It is a different story for gangland crime.

Less than half (46pc) of respondents to the survey said they had faith in gardai to combat the activities of organised criminals.

The over-65s expressed the strongest support (58pc).

On the flip side, 61pc of young Dubliners said they had no confidence in gardai to tackle the city's gangs.

comurphy@herald.ie