Nearly six out of 10 people are not satisfied that the law is respected in Malta, a survey has found, in an indictment of Maltese attitudes to law and order.
The survey was carried out by Misco International Limited for The Sunday Times of Malta at the beginning of last week.
Only 38 per cent of respondents stated they were satisfied that the law is respected. Five per cent did not express an opinion.
The dissatisfaction emerged among all age groups, genders and regions and was not restricted to any particular demographic segment.
In another question relating to law and order, respondents were asked to what extent they were satisfied that everyone is treated equally when it comes to dealing with government.
Just over half the respondents expressed some level of satisfaction. But a significant number, nearly four in 10, stated they are not so satisfied or not satisfied at all. Six per cent did not express an opinion on the subject.
In an open question asking respondents to name the major problem currently facing Malta, traffic emerged as the single greatest concern, with nearly 15 per cent of mentions.
But a number of concerns which could be grouped together under the category of law and order gathered 25 per cent of mentions.
These included the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, corruption, lack of rule of law, lack of tranquillity in the country, lack of transparency, bad governance and crime.
However, this does not appear to have caused trust in institutions to decline, with more than two in three saying they had faith in the government, police and armed forces, in line with results from previous such surveys.
Among the other issues of concern were the political situation and foreigners living in Malta – and a number named the Leader of the Opposition as “the biggest problem” for Malta.
Concern for the future
On another question, more than 45 per cent of respondents admitted they are concerned about Malta’s future. Nearly 20 per cent said that they are very concerned, and just over 25 per cent fairly concerned.
On the other hand, more than half of respondents professed little or no concern. The level of optimism was higher among males, persons aged 55 and over, persons that have attained a lower level of education and persons in the C1, C2 and DE socioeconomic categories.
The traffic problem
Respondents were also asked to name the top personal problem they are facing and on which the government should take action. Traffic was their number one problem by far, mentioned by 20 per cent of respondents, which is far more than any other concern.
The traffic problem emerged as a far more important personal issue for males than it is for females, as it is for respondents aged under 35, compared to respondents aged 35 and over.
Muscat vs Delia: huge gap in trust
One of the major findings of the survey was the low level of trust expressed in the new Leader of the Opposition.
Adrian Delia earned a rating of just 3.4 when respondents were asked to rate the leaders on a scale of 1 to 10.
On the contrary, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was given a rating of 7.5.
The low rating given to Dr Delia is evident across all demographic segments, as is the better one given to Dr Muscat.
Dr Muscat stands at about the same level as before the last general election. But Dr Delia’s rating is lower than the rating enjoyed by Simon Busuttil at the same moment.
This survey was conducted by MISCO International Limited among a random sample of 400 respondents. Interviews were conducted by telephone by trained interviewers under the direct supervision of MISCO fieldwork coordinators. Respondents were selected using the random-digit dialling method. Fieldwork was conducted on October 30 and 31 and November 1. A sample of 400 provides a margin of error within ±5%.
Data was weighted according to age, gender and region. Weighting is used to adjust the results of a study to bring them more in line with what is known about a population. The weighting was done according to the Demographic Review of 2013. The age groups were: 18-24 years, 25-34 years, 35-44 years, 45-54 years, 55-61 years, and 62 years and over.
The regions used were those listed in the Demographic Review of 2013, namely: Northern, Northern Harbour, Southern Harbour, South Eastern, Western, and Gozo and Comino.