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Title: Public confidence in policing : the effects of police strategy, organisation and effectiveness
Author: Sindall, Kathryn
ISNI:       0000 0004 2708 1891
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2011
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Public attitudes towards the police have received considerable attention over recent years as politicians and policy makers have emphasised the importance of public confidence in policing (Home Office 2009a; Home Office 2010c). Academic interest has also been strong; scholars have produced evidence identifying a wide range of correlates of confidence in policing and putative causal mechanisms underpinning it. However, what is missing from this evidence base is a consideration of the way in which confidence might be shaped by the strategies the police employ, the organisation of the police and their effectiveness at preventing and solving crime. Moreover, by focusing on the ways in which confidence differs between groups, academics have neglected to empirically consider the way in which confidence has changed over time and the factors that might account for such changes. Using a variety of data sources and advanced quantitative methods to address these gaps in knowledge, the thesis finds that the public lose confidence in the police if the volume of crime and disorder is either high, or thought to be high. The degree to which the police are effective at solving crimes, the manner in which they are thought to behave during encounters with the public and the frequency with which they are perceived to patrol the streets were also found to be important factors in shaping confidence. It is notable, in light of recent police cuts, that the numbers of police officers employed were not associated with confidence in policing, although this is not to say that such cuts will not have indirect effects on confidence through their potential impacts on crime, crime detection, police visibility and so on. Finally, the thesis finds less clarity surrounding the role played by worry about crime, victimisation and perceptions of social cohesion and informal social control in shaping public confidence in policing, the use of different methods and data producing varied results.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available