2014

Police Popularity Rises On A Global Scale According to International GfK Study Citizens Worldwide Report Increased Trust of Officers but Skepticism Toward Politicians Remains

NEW YORK, June 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Firefighters enjoy the highest levels of trust internationally. The clergy and marketing specialists have suffered a considerable deterioration in their reputation, and trust in politicians has also fallen once again. Conversely, the reputation of the police and judges has improved significantly. Bankers have also seen a slight recovery in their image at international level. These are the findings of the "GfK Trust Index 2010", which has been conducted by GfK Custom Research in 19 countries.

Firefighters also rank in first place in the United States, with 93% regarding them as trustworthy, while the military enjoys the second highest level of popularity at 85%, followed by doctors at 82% and postal workers (81%). Police have particularly improved their reputation: this year, 77% of the population profess to trust them, whereas the figure was just 71% in the previous year. In contrast, civil servants have fallen in the rankings, with just 64% of citizens claiming to have confidence in them in 2010 compared to 70% in 2009, environment-protection organizations also saw a noticeable decrease (from 59% in 2009 to 54% in 2010). Since the beginning of the financial crisis in September 2008, bankers have seen a drop of 16 percentage points in terms of trust levels.  Internationally, but also in United States, politicians bring up the rear in the trust rankings, with 17% of Americans expressing respect for this professional group.

Extent to which Americans trust individual professional groups

(in %)


Professional Group

2010

2009

Fire service

93

95

Military

85

85

Doctors

82

83

Postal workers

81

81

School Teachers

81

83

Police

77

71

Clergy

69

71

Civil servants

64

70

Judges

62

65

Charities

60

69

Environment-protection organizations

54

59

Bankers

47

44

Market researchers

47

48

Journalists

42

44

Trade Unions

36

39

Lawyers

35

36

Managers

28

27

Advertising specialists

26

24

Marketing specialists

25

27

Politicians

17

21

Source: GfK Trust Index for spring 2010, GfK Custom Research



Police enjoy greater trust internationally; clergy experience a decline in confidence levels

A total of 94% of all citizens in the countries surveyed have confidence in firefighters. The service enjoys the highest credibility in Sweden and the Czech Republic (98%) and the lowest in Romania (91%). Teachers and doctors come in second place, each at 84%, followed by postal workers (82%) and the military (81%). Although police officers remain in sixth place, the same position as last year, they have markedly improved their reputation: at 75%, 14% more citizens have confidence in them than in 2009. However, the service's reputation varies considerably from country to country. In Germany and Italy (86% in each) and Sweden (83%) this professional group enjoys the highest levels of trust. Conversely, in France (59%), Bulgaria (55%) and Romania (54%) police officers have to fight for their credibility.

More than half of respondents in all surveyed countries have faith in environmental protection organizations, judges, charities, civil servants, the clergy and market research organizations. Following the abuse scandals in the Catholic church, which received international attention, the clergy's image has deteriorated markedly in almost all countries. Just 58% of the population in total have confidence in the group, which is 8% less than in the prior year. The clergy is judged particularly poorly by the French, at 33%, whereas it achieves the best ratings in Romania (86%).

International levels of trust in individual professional groups


Professional group

All
countries 2010

All
countries 2009

Country where level of trust is highest

In %

Country where level of trust is lowest

In %


Proportion in % that trust the professional group in question

Fire service

94

92

Sweden/Czech Republic

98

Romania

91

Teachers

84

85

Spain/
Portugal

92

Italy

75

Doctors

84

81

Spain

93

Romania

74

Postal workers

82

81

Hungary

95

Belgium

69

Military

81

81

Romania

88

Belgium

57

Police

76

61

Germany

86

Romania

54

Environmental protection organizations

62

64

Portugal

84

France

57

Judges

62

57

Germany

83

Bulgaria

32

Charities

59

60

Spain

75

Bulgaria

45

Civil servants

58

57

Portugal

70

Italy

38

Clergy

58

66

Romania

86

France

33

Market researchers

55

55

Hungary

79

France

49

Lawyers

47

47

Germany

72

Bulgaria

31

Bankers

42

37

Germany

57

Italy

24

Civil servants

42

43

Netherlands

65

Italy/Bulgaria

31

Journalists

41

41

Portugal

66

UK

21

Marketing specialists

33

39

Portugal

64

France

22

Managers

31

33

Bulgaria

51

Germany

17

Advertising specialists

29

28

Romania

50

Sweden

15

Politicians

15

18

Netherlands

32

Italy

7

Source: GfK Trust Index for spring 2010, GfK Custom Research




Politicians in last place

Over half of respondents expressed criticism of lawyers, bankers, trade unions, journalists, marketing specialists, managers, advertising experts and politicians.

As in previous years, politicians are at the bottom of the rankings and their approval rating has fallen by another 3% compared with the previous year, to stand at just 15%. Although political leaders are also in last place in the Netherlands, at 32% the level is still considerably higher than average.

Politicians receive the second highest rating in Sweden, with 25%, whereas in Italy 93% of citizens do not trust their leaders, and only 7% do have faith in them. Similarly, this professional group fares badly in France and Hungary, with approval ratings of just 8% and 9% respectively.  

Although the international financial market crisis is far from over, bankers have seen a revival in their reputation at international level. After just 37% of citizens professed to have confidence in them in the previous year, they are now trusted again by 42% of citizens. However, the results for individual countries vary considerably. Germans (57%), Swedes (56%) and Poles (54%) have the most faith in bank employees, while the profession is least popular in Italy (24%), France (27%) and Romania (28%). It is interesting to note that the trust values have fallen overall for both western and eastern Europe. However, no trend in either direction can be observed within these regions.

The Survey

GfK Custom Research used the GfK Trust Index in spring 2010 to determine the levels of trust that citizens have in the following 20 professional groups and organizations: advertising specialists, bankers, civil servants, charities, clergy, doctors, environmental protection organizations, fire service, journalists, judges, lawyers, managers, marketing specialists, market researchers, military, police, politicians, postal workers, teachers and trade unions. For this year's Trust Index, GfK Custom Research surveyed a total of 18,800 respondents in 15 European countries and the USA, Brazil, Colombia and India in February and March 2010. The survey has been conducted on an annual basis since 2003.

About GfK Custom Research North America

Headquartered in New York, GfK Custom Research North America is part of the GfK Group. The GfK Group offers the fundamental knowledge that industry, retailers, services companies and the media need to make market decisions. It delivers a comprehensive range of information and consultancy services in three business sectors — Custom Research, Retail and Technology and Media. The no. 4 market research organization worldwide operates in more than 100 countries and employs over 10,000 staff. In 2009, the GfK Group's sales amounted to EUR 1.16 billion. For more information visit www.gfkamerica.com. Follow us at www.gfkinsights4u.com or on Twitter @gfkamerica.

SOURCE GfK Custom Research North America



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