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UK Insights

Brits more likely to worry about border control, terrorism and cybercrime

Claire Davies

Former editor and head of content

Policy 12.05.2015 / 13:00


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How British security fears compare to our European neighbours

Eurobarometer research by Kantar's TNS has found that the UK tops the league of European countries when it comes to levels of concern about the management of EU borders. British people are also more likely to be concerned about terrorism and cybercrime than many of our European neighbours.

The study into European attitudes towards security found that overall most people in Britain agree that their country is a secure place to live (84%, +5pp since 2011); however, there are a number of perceived threats and challenges.

59% of UK respondents think that management of the EU's external borders is an important internal security challenge, this is the joint highest number in Europe (with Bulgaria), the lowest figure is 12%, in both Estonia and Sweden.

Overall, Terrorism is seen as the EU's most important security challenge, but again, concern levels vary considerably from country to country: 79% of people in the UK say it is very important compared to 33% of people in Sweden. Since 2011, the proportion of people identifying terrorism and religious extremism as important challenges has increased substantially.

In eight Member States, at least a fifth of respondents consider illegal immigration to be one of the most important security challenges. Unsurprisingly, the highest proportions can be observed in Malta (46%), Italy (40%) and Greece (33%), three Member States located along the Mediterranean immigration route. In the UK, 20% of people put illegal immigration in their top 3 challenges to the security of EU citizens at the moment.

The UK is one of five countries where over 50% of respondents think that cybercrime is an important internal security challenge for the EU: Cyprus (66%), Ireland (60%), the UK (58%), Germany (54%), and Greece (53%). At the other end of the scale, less than a fifth of respondents in Estonia (16%) and Sweden (18%) identify this as an important challenge.

Explore the data in detail in the full Eurobarometer security report.

Source : Kantar, Kantar TNS

Editor's Notes

This Eurobarometer report: Europeans' attitudes towards security was conducted by Kantar's TNS Opinion & Social at the request of the European Commission. The survey was carried out in the 28 Member States of the European Union between 21 and 30 March 2015. Some 28,082 respondents from different social and demographic groups were interviewed face-to-face at home in their mother tongue.

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