Not only has Horizon Research and the Dompost’s shameless manufactured story about public confidence inÂ theÂ Police been busted by the Police Association but not the Police themselves have come outÂ withÂ a strongly worded press statement.
The findings of a recent survey claiming falling public trust in Police were deliberately engineered to mislead the public and bolster a complainantâ€™s case against Police, says Acting Commissioner Viv Rickard.
Mr Rickard said the online survey of 756 adults by Horizon Research conducted over a 40 hour period at the weekend lacked any validity, as the company involved was not independent and had deliberately designed the survey to elicit a biased response.
â€śThe integrity of the survey and the motivation of those behind it must be seriously questioned when the company involved is owned by a representative for individuals involved in a current complaint investigation by Police. There is also evidence their supporters have been actively encouraged through social media to take part in the survey and win cash and prizes.â€ť
Mr Rickard said Police took the matter seriously and had commissioned anÂ independentÂ research organisation to review the Horizon survey. The feedback confirms concerns that the methodology was flawed and the sample would produce a biased result. The results varied considerably from other robust surveys.
They go on to release a proper survey that states:
Mr Rickard said as an organisation committed to continuous improvement, Police welcomed public scrutiny and constructive criticism based on reliable, objective and informed commentary.
â€śThis is why over the last four years, Police have commissioned reputable market research company Gravitas Research and Strategy Ltd, to conduct the Citizens’ Satisfaction Research programme.
â€śThe latest results of the Gravitas survey of 9,706 people released last month shows 77 per cent of New Zealanders continue to have high levels of trust and confidence in Police â€“ up from 72 percent in 2008/2009.â€ť
Mr Rickard said the Gravitas survey conducted detailed interviews with people about their views of Police, their feelings of safety and what their service experience was like if they recently had contact with Police. The interviews were conducted over a period from July 2011 to June 2012.
â€śWhen you look at the size, scope and thoroughness of the survey carried out by Gravitas, the findings by Horizon simply donâ€™t stack up to scrutiny. The timing is also highly questionable given that the Dominion Post published the survey findings to coincide with news articles and editorials quoting the complainants who are critical of Police.
â€śI think most reasonable New Zealanders will therefore see this rather cynical approach for what it is and make up their own mind.
â€śThe quality of the Horizon survey and the strength of the related media coverage by the Dominion Post looks even flimsier when you consider that public satisfaction with Police is at its highest levels and New Zealand crime rates are the lowest on record.
The Dompost and Horizon have ben caught front and centre manufacturing the news.