Perceptions of Police, Security and Governance in Iraq

28 May, 2020


This report by IOM Iraq and Yale Law School’s Center for Global Legal Challenges compares survey findings evaluating civilians’ attitudes and behaviors towards providers of security and justice; their perceptions of the legitimacy of the Iraqi government; police officers’ attitudes and behaviors toward civilians; and the prevalence of crime and violence.

The report analyzes data collected before and after the implementation of IOM Iraq’s Community Policing programme in three communities: Baradiyah, Basra; Jubeil, Anbar; and Hamdaniyah, Ninewa. It also includes data from two communities where the program was not implemented — Khor Al Zubeir, Basra and Saqlawiyah, Anbar — for comparison. A total of 2,220 respondents were surveyed in the five communities before the programme’s implementation in July and August 2019 and again after six months of programming in December 2019.

Across communities, the percentage of respondents who perceived the local police as having a positive impact on security significantly increased. Trust in and perceived fairness of the police increased in Jubeil and Hamdaniyah. Willingness to report crimes to police increased in Baradiyah and Jubeil. Unemployment, basic services, public health and corruption were the top concerns in the three communities in both waves of data collection. Residents were less concerned about security issues and crimes such as attacks by ISIL, revenge killings, kidnapping and harassment. Women’s relationship with police is also complex. In general, most women are uncomfortable reporting problems to the police themselves, and men and women in both rounds of the survey indicated that they would not allow a female family member to report a problem to the police on her own. However, women in all three communities are significantly more likely to report problems to the police if they are given the option of reporting to a female police officer rather than a male police officer.


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