From Iceland — Trust In Police Falling Among Young Icelanders

Trust In Police Falling Among Young Icelanders

Published August 10, 2021

Desirai Thompson
Photo by
Hlynz/Wikimedia Commons

Confidence in the police is shifting among younger generations in Iceland.

A recent survey (.pdf) conducted by the Social Sciences Institute of the University of Iceland  for the Office of the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police, has found that 59% of Icelanders aged between 18-25 have faith in the police force. This is a 20% drop from 2018 when 79% of responders in the same age group stated they had confidence in the police.

There is also a decline in trust among the demographic of those aged 26-35. In 2018, 86% of Icelanders in this age range noted having faith in the work of the police. Last year, that number was 83%. The 2021 survey found the current rate lies at 80% of those surveyed.

These differences not only exist along generational lines, but economic, educational and geographic lines as well. The most faith, 90-92%, was found among participants in the South, West and Westfjords while residents of the Westman Islands, Northwest and Greater Reykjavík areas showed the least confidence in police at 75-77%. Women also tend to find the work of police more satisfactory than men, at 87 versus 82%.

It seems that one impact on police satisfaction comes, unsurprisingly, from Covid-19 restrictions. Last year 89% of all citizens supported police action on the pandemic, most recently that number lies at 81%. Again, younger generations are showing the least trust in police in this area; 56% of 18-25 year olds, while 84.9-88% of those 36 years of age and older are in support.

Overall, the demographics of 18-25 and 26-25 have been steadily declining for the past four years, age groups between 36-65 have fluctuated to relatively small degrees and the eldest respondents, aged 66 and older maintain the strongest support of police at 90%, only dropping from 92% in 2018.

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