Two-thirds of crime victims were either not satisfied with the way gardaí dealt with them or did not report the crime to gardaí at all, according to a new report published today.
An Garda Síochána's Public Attitudes Survey also found that 85% of people trust gardaí and the majority of people see them as friendly, helpful and community-focused.
However, more than half do not think the force was either well managed or a world-class police service and almost four in ten do not believe the police service tackles crime effectively.
The survey of 6,000 people was carried out by an independent company last year to determine how people feel about crime and the work of An Garda Síochána.
Levels of satisfaction with and confidence in the force were lower amongst those who had been victims of crime, particularly of burglary, criminal damage, assaults and bike theft
41% of victims were not satisfied with gardaí, with 19% very dissatisfied.
26% did not bother to report the crime, largely because they believed gardaí would not or could not do anything or that the crime was not serious enough.
The survey also shows that the public wants An Garda Síochána to prioritise crimes against the person rather than property, and focus on sexual offences, illegal weapons, robberies and assaults.
They considered public order, traffic offences and criminal damage to be low priority crimes.
More than three quarters of those surveyed see crime as either a serious or very serious problem and while 70% were satisfied with the response by gardaí, almost a quarter (23%) were not.
Whilst there were some variations for all age groups, gender and social class groupings the main priority was sexual offences
Most did not agree that An Garda Síochána provided 'a world class police service' or that it was well managed and almost four in ten people (38%) do not believe the force is effective in tackling crime.
In the wake of the closure of garda stations, the importance of having a garda station in an area is illustrated by the fact that people living within 3km of one believed there was less crime than those living ten kilometres or more from a station.
The survey also found that people from Munster and Leinster (excluding Dublin) were more likely to see crime as a very serious problem nationally than those from Dublin.
Rural and 'other urban' people were much more likely to feel that crime was a very serious problem in Ireland compared to those living in a city.
An Garda Síochána says these finding are being used to inform how it polices the country into the future as part of its modernisation and renewal programme.
It also says the findings will be compared to this year's survey which is currently under way with two additional questions on garda visibility and the fear of crime.
Assistant Garda Commissioner Michael O'Sullivan this afternoon said that he would have liked if more victims were happy with the service gardaí provide.
He told RTÉ’s News At One that there is no excuse and there is a lot of work to do with victims.
Mr O'Sullivan said a number of initiatives have been established; helping gardaí to gain an understanding of what the force is not doing and how to provide a better service to people.
He said if people feel gardaí could not, or would not, do anything about a reported crime, then there needs to be a change in perception, adding there is no excuse in not reporting crime.
He urged the public to report all crime and said gardai cannot investigate what they do not know about it.
Mr O'Sullivan said he is pleased with the 85% trust level in the force.
He said the force is getting more resources; more gardaí are being trained and gardaí have no desire to have operational policemen and women sitting behind desks if civilians can work in those roles.