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        • Most of citizens of Serbia feel safe and secure, concluded Sonja Stojanović, Director of the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, based on results of research conducted in April 2011. Citizens feel most secure in their homes (84,5%) and at their workplaces (77,9%). 75,3% of citizen said that they feel physically safe. “Situation like this is much better than one shown in some big European cities like London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Prague and Bucharest. Slightly more secure feel the citizens of Scandinavian countries and those who live in smaller European cities”.

          “Absence of recognition of state institutions as factors which influences the feeling of safety by citizens is concerning” says Sonja, adding that only 6,1% of respondents believe that they are safe because the state institutions do their job efficiently. Large amount of citizens, 47,1% say that they are safe because they “live normally and respect law and order” or because they “live in the good neighborhood” (21,2%). Determined trend of distrust toward the institutions is confirmed by citizens’ answering the question about who do they expect to be protected by. Two-thirds of the citizens are relying on themselves (50,3%), on their friends (8,4%), and their neighbors (7,6%). 19,9% of the citizens see the police as institution which they believe can protect themselves and their families. Shown percentage increases regarding the question about the institution which has the most credit in regard to their personal safety (29,1%). It is interesting that 4,3% of respondents said that the institution which has the most credit in regard to their personal security is the army.

          Explanation for determined trend Sonja finds in 1990s heritage, when the institutions have let the citizens down. “There is much more trust towards the institutions regarding defending of the state, than in the regard to defending of personal safety. That indicates that the institutions that are focused on personal security are not yet properly reformed, nor they have established relations of trust in their services with the citizens. They still are not recognized as citizens’ service. Bigger issue is that the public is not informed about improvements which happened in these institutions because of their insufficient transparency.

          Asked about the period in which they have felt the most secure and in which Serbia has been the safest, the most of the citizens answered that it was the period before the crash of communism. One-third of the citizens (31,4%) have felt most secure in the period after the year 2000, but there is a certain percentage of those who feel their level of security was the largest in the 1990s also. “Among those who have answered that they feel their level of security was the largest in the 1990s, in most are respondents of 18-29 age group, respondents with lowest income and without University degree. “Most of young citizens do not remember the period of communist regime, so they do not idealize it. Most of young citizens (67,1%) think that they have been most secure in the period after the year 2000. Those young respondents that chose 1990s or period before that as the safest did that most likely because of their childhood memories, not because of their current social environment.

          The research "The public of Serbia about security" is designed by Belgrade Centre for Security Policy research team, and it was conducted by CeSID on 1200 citizens in April current year.

        • Tags: Security, Serbia, public opinion, research, institutions, citizens
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