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News release

Tanzanians express trust in the police but cite shortcomings in professional conduct, Afrobarometer survey shows

24 May 2023 Tanzania
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News release
Key findings
  • Three-fourths of Tanzanians say they “never” felt unsafe while walking in their neighborhood (75%) or feared crime in their home (74%) during the previous year, while 25% and 26%, respectively, report experiencing these forms of insecurity at least once during the previous year (Figure 1).
  • Almost three in 10 Tanzanians (28%) say that “most” or “all” police are corrupt – one of the best ratings across 34 African countries surveyed in 2021/2022, but still the worst among 11 Tanzanian institutions and leaders the survey asked about (Figure 2).
  • But eight in 10 respondents (79%) say they trust the police, including 46% who trust them “a lot” (Figure 3).
  • Over the past decade, the share of citizens who say they don’t trust the police “at all” has dropped by about half, from 16% in 2012 to 9% (Figure 4).
  • Even so, significant proportions of the population say the police “often” or “always” use excessive force with suspected criminals (42%) and protesters (28%), stop drivers without good reason (37%), and engage in criminal activities (11%) (Figure 5).

More than three-quarters of Tanzanians say they trust the police, but fewer than half think the police usually act in a professional manner and respect all citizens’ rights, according to the latest Afrobarometer survey.

Sizeable minorities say the police frequently stop drivers without good reason and use excessive force in dealing with criminal suspects and managing protests.

Most Tanzanians say they feel safe in their homes and neighbourhoods and give the government good marks on reducing crime.