Public perceptions of safety and security in Kosovo
Time to act
This survey explores public attitudes towards safety and security, and towards the institutions responsible for security provision in Kosovo. It is the sixth population survey conducted since 2006 by Saferworld and the Forum for Civic Initiatives (FIQ) in the framework of the SafePlace project. The survey had a research sample of 1,250 households complemented by focus group discussions in 10 locations. It aims to contribute towards the development of responsive, accountable and people – focused security and justice provisions in Kosovo.
Findings indicate that the on-going political crisis in Kosovo has had considerable impact on local perceptions of security, with people feeling less secure than they did a year ago. The reputation of the Kosovo Police, which was previously held in high regard by the majority of the population, has particularly suffered in the last year. People also reported that they are tired of what they see as ineffective and insufficiently accountable institutions, particularly with regards to the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX).
However, the report also reveals some positive trends. The difference in perceptions regarding safety and security between ethnic groups is getting narrower. The number of Kosovo Serbs feeling unsafe continues to decline and a higher number of municipalities are described as 'very safe' or 'somewhat safe' places to live in. The presence of international actors is also seen as a stabilising factor.
Based on these findings Saferworld proposes a series of practical recommendations to improve the effectiveness of Kosovo’s institutions in providing people-focused security and justice services to all Kosovo’s population. Priorities include addressing domestic and gender-based violence and violence in schools. Another key priority is to improve the understanding of the population regarding the roles and responsibilities of the different institutions providing and justice services in Kosovo.