Research conducted on migrant population’s perception of safety and trust in authorities (2015)
The authorities dealing with emergency services and public safety in Finland consider the following two research questions to be of central importance in the context of migrant population’s safety:
1)Migrant population’s perception of safety: Persons coming from societies and cultural backgrounds that differ from those of the host culture’s welfare society may also have differing concepts of safety: The national authorities responsible for emergency rescue services in Finland need to be aware of these in order to plan and implement successful public safety communication measures.
2) Trust in authorities: The status and relationship of the authorities vis-à-vis ordinary citizens in the migrants’ countries of origin may differ from the situation in Finland. There is some evidence of cases for example from the U.K. and Sweden, where distrust towards authorities has expressed itself in aggressive behaviour towards the personnel of ambulance services and rescue units. The Finnish authorities are interested in learning from other Member States’ experiences; for example, by what means has the building of trust between immigrant population and authorities been achieved? The questions asked concerned (i) information regarding either ongoing or planned research on the above mentioned two topics; and (ii) any instances that would be interested in planning and implementing a joint research project together with the Emergency Services College of Finland that would deal with either one of the above mentioned topics?
The replies for 6 of the countries referred to existing or planned research or surveys on this topic, although one study was 10 years old. The replies for 5 countries named an institution that might be interested in planning and implementing a joint research project.
It is difficult to conclude from the replies to this ad hoc query whether there are relatively few (Member) States where the authorities and/or the research community have an interest in immigrants’ trust in the (Member) States authorities and how such trust can be strengthened, or whether there are few (Member) States where such research is known to the immigration authorities. A joint project of the type proposed by the Emergency Services College of Finland may lead to a survey design and questions which may be useful also for others than those participating in the joint project, as well as giving results that may indicate to what extent the country of origin is more important than the country of residence in determining the degree of trust in authorities of the (Member) State.