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Report says Jordanians trust security agencies

By Dana Al Emam - Dec 19,2016 - Last updated at Dec 19,2016

AMMAN — Jordanians say they feel secure and that they highly trust the capabilities of security agencies, according to the results of a new report released Monday.

The second report on Arab security and citizens' inclinations in 2016, ranked Jordan first among four countries under study with regards to citizens' perceptions of security and justice in their countries

The report, which is based on surveys conducted in Jordan, Tunisia, Iraq and Palestine in 2015 and 2016, included 12 major and 113 minor indicators.

Participating for the first time in the study, Jordan scored 0.73 out of 1.0, while Tunisia came second (0.59), followed by Iraq (0.53) and Palestine (0.52). The average score of the four countries is (0.59).

Jordanians said reforms in the security sector are "very advanced", with positive expectations for the future advancement of the technical skills of security personnel. In addition, the surveyed citizens expressed trust in the efficiency of the judiciary system. 

The survey, conducted by the Centre for Strategic Studies (CSS) at the University of Jordan (UJ) and the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), showed a discrepancy in the responses of those who have had direct contact with security agents and those who have not. 

Responses of those who had an experience with security apparatuses reported slightly lower satisfaction rates. 

Although the participating countries scored 0.59 out of 1.0, registering an improvement from the 0.51 score in the last report, the security reform process in the region did not achieve improvements, according to the study.

CSS Director Musa Shteiwi pointed to a growing interest in reforming the security sector in the region as part of the effect of the transformations that started in 2011, noting that the concept of security has surpassed the military sense to include humanitarian security as well.

Speaking at a ceremony to launch the report, Shteiwi added that reform in the security sector should safeguard human rights and ensure agencies are accountable before democratic entities, an absent practice in most Arab countries, where authorities use security forces as tools of oppression.

Khalil Shikaki, director and senior researcher at the PSR, said the collaboration among several research centres in the region to conduct such studies is aimed at offering an understanding of social and political phenomena and providing numerical data to aid decision makers.

He noted that the study employed a single methodology in all four countries despite differences in their security outlooks.

Commenting on the overall findings of the report, Shikaki said there were no major reforms in the security sector and that citizens generally are not content with the sector's performance.


The rising security challenges in Jordan demand higher efficiency and readiness of security forces, in addition to the awareness of citizens as partners in maintaining security, said UJ President Azmi Mahafzah, citing poverty and unemployment as factors that contribute to societal violence. 

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