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Gallup®, the American Management company, more known for conducting polls has published law and order report 2023. It is a poll-based report in which people 15 years and older were asked four questions. The report is compiled on the answers thus collected.
- In the city or area where you live, do you have confidence in the local police force?
- Do you feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area you live?
- Within the last 12 months, have you had money or property stolen from you or another household member?
- Within the past 12 months, have you been assaulted or mugged?
The report presents the results from Gallup’s latest measurements of people’s answers to these questions, based on interviews with over 146,000 adults in more than 140 countries and areas in 2022.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #16 states: “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels”. The most recent progress report on its SDGs 2030 warned that, “structural injustices, inequalities, and emerging human rights challenges are putting peaceful and inclusive societies further out of reach”, and issued a call to action to “restore trust and to strengthen the capacity of institutions to secure justice for all.”
The world as it stands today, appears to be drifting away from this goal, rather than getting nearer. Entire regions are embroiled in wars, conflicts, state brutalities, crime, insecurity, and serious law and order breaches. However, Gallup report presents a rather promising picture of the world. We shall get deeper into the report to share the key findings.
People’s perceptions of their own security and trust in the rule of law in 2022 remained stable over 2021. The proportion of people who felt safe walking around the area where they lived showed no improvement. However, people’s confidence in the police rose two percentage points.
Tajikistan, a Central Asian State, a member of CIS countries, topped the list with the highest Law and Order Index Scores at 96, followed by Finland, Iceland, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Norway, and Vietnam at 92, Switzerland at 91, Denmark, Indonesia, Kosovo, Slovenia, and Uzbekistan at 90.
Among the lowest scoring countries, Liberia is at the bottom at 49. Africa in general is low; Uganda 60, Cameroon 59, Gabon 59, South Africa 59, Republic of Congo 58, Sierra Leone 57, and Gambia 56. Latin American countries also fared poorly; Bolivia 61, Peru 61, and Ecuador 59.
71% people reported they felt safe walking alone at night where they lived, 72% said they had confidence in their local police, 12% said they had property stolen from them or another household member in the past year, and 6% said they were assaulted or mugged. All these figures remained almost unchanged, except some improvement seen in confidence on local police.
For years, people in Latin America and the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa have been the least likely to feel secure in their communities. Presently however, LATAM and Caribbean are on the trajectory to improvement, but sub-Saharan Africa remains the same.
Between 2017 and 2022, the regions have moved as follows:
- East Asia has gained; from 87 to 94.
- Western Europe has gained nominally; from 85 to 86.
- U.S. and Canada have lost; from 85 to 83.
- Southeast Asia has remained unchanged; 86.
- Eastern Europe has improved; from 81 to 83.
- Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has improved; 80 to 81.
- South Asia has lost; from 83 to 81.
- LATAM and Caribbean have gained; from 62 to 69.
- Post-Soviet Eurasia has gained; from 74 to 82.
- Sub-Saharan Africa has lost; from 68 to 66.
- In Afghanistan’s case, the country’s index score skyrocketed from 51 in 2021 to 76 in 2022, as Afghans’ reports of assault and theft continued to plummet while a record percentage of residents — bolstered by a solid majority of men — reported feeling safe walking alone at night. Previously, Afghanistan had scored the lowest on the index in 2018, 2019 and 2021.
Only people’s faith in their local police showed some promise. After stalling in 2021, people’s confidence in their local police started to rise again — increasing two points to reach a numerical high in the 17 years that Gallup has been asking this question.
Just over seven in 10 adults worldwide (72%) said in 2022 that they have confidence in their local police. The results vary significantly by region, from a low of 52% in Latin America and the Caribbean to a high of 84% in Southeast Asia.
Confidence in local police did not decline measurably in any region of the world in 2022, but several regions experienced sizable upticks. South Asia was home to the largest gains in confidence in 2022 — rising six points from 74% to 80% — although it did not lead the world on this measure. The improvements in South Asia largely reflect rising confidence in India, where trust in the local police increased from 75% in 2021 to 81% in 2022 amid calls for reform. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently called for police forces to be more sensitive and trained in developing technology.
Law and Order Index for our region is as follows.
- India – 82
- Bangladesh – 82
- Nepal – 80
- Pakistan – 79
- Sri Lanka – 77
- Afghanistan – 76
The law and order situation in Pakistan is known to us more clearly than what may be shown in a selected survey.
The confidence in our police is generally reasonable, though the complaints of corruption are rampant. Corruption runs in our society like air and water and there is no escape from it. Police is part of our society and cannot be immune. Secondly, police is extensively used by those in power to settle scores with opponents, which affects their professional work. Thirdly, a large part of police is deployed on protocol duties thereby reducing their effective numbers. Fourthly, police is now deeply entangled in anti-terrorist operations which is diverting their attention from their regular, civil work.
We do feel safe walking around at night in most parts of the country. Where it is unsafe to walk around is the same during the day or night.
Most Pakistanis have not had the unfortunate experience of their assets or properties stolen from them or their family. Car thefts are on the rise in many cities though. There have been phases of high prevalence at times, but not continuously.
Mugging and assaults are fortunately not part of our everyday life.
While we can feel satisfied on most counts, our problem at present is rising poverty, high unemployment, political void, and social fabric deterioration. We are going downhill and things may change for worse in short time.