Published Thursday, 28 February 2013
David Ford said the survey showed differences between perception and reality. (© Getty)
The results of the government-commissioned NI Crime Survey were revealed on Thursday.
When asked to identify the singe main cause of criminality, one in four respondents traced the problems back to parenting. Around 20% said drugs.
The survey also found that 59% of people believe crime levels had gone up in the past two years, in contrast to the PSNI's figures which suggest crime is at its lowest since 1998.
Meanwhile 14% think they may become a victim of a burglary when the actual risk is 2%.
Justice Minister David Ford said these disparities in perception must be addressed.
"Northern Ireland is one of the safest places to live in Europe with levels of crime falling in recent years," the Alliance minister said.
"The results from the NI Crime Survey also show that progress has been made in people's perceptions of crime in Northern Ireland but it is clear there remains a distinct difference between perception and reality."
Fear levels about crimes such as car crime, burglary and violent crime were shown to be higher than in other parts of the UK, even though actual risk in NI is lower.
However only 5% say his fear greatly affects their everyday lives, while two thirds say fear of crime has a minimal effect on their lives.