Presentation on theme: "Dr Janet Foster ESRC Public Policy Seminar House of Lords 12 th February 2009."— Presentation transcript:
Dr Janet Foster ESRC Public Policy Seminar House of Lords 12 th February 2009
Why is policing communities so important? Who are ‘the public’ and what do they want? Whose concerns are represented and why? How are legitimacy, trust and confidence linked with responsiveness to community concerns?
Provides formal social controls when informal ones are absent or have failed Can help to reassure through a linkage between visibility and perceived safety Formal controls may be an important trigger for encouraging the development of informal social control Potentially empowering effect
When I joined the job, the public … had this golden halo view of policing. The police … were honest and upright and did nothing wrong, you could always trust a police officer… you know, the old Dixon of Dock Green image … He never existed. Dixon of Dock Green was probably a corrupt alcoholic (laughs)… (Now) the public have … much greater access to policing and to the decision-making … whereas … when I joined the job, … people had no idea what happened behind (closed doors) …. And there were things that were happening … that we didn’t need to be particularly proud of. … (Today) I think as an organisation we are far, far harder working, far, far more professional, far, far more honest, ethical and everything you would see as positives but despite the fact that we’re much better, the public perception is actually worse. So you know (before) the public believed that we were all those things we weren’t … now we’re almost there but the public don’t necessarily share that (view) (Detective Superintendent in Foster, forthcoming).
Action research project Phase 1: Initial scoping and literature Phase 2: In-depth qualitative research in 4 sites involving: ◦ observations, focus groups and interviews in communities (particularly ‘hard to reach’ groups) and with SNT officers Phase 3: Using the evidence to work with teams to develop their practice
Using principles of ‘worst’ first Independent survey conducted in 4 of the 5 neighbourhoods to establish change over time Teams asked to identify their most problematic areas
A small and unrepresentative minority Little understanding of the different ‘publics’ or the need for engaging and consulting creatively outside the formal consultation framework Absence of ‘hard to reach’ groups Priorities sometimes adopted ◦ without adequately analysing to what extent the issues presented are ‘problems’ ◦ without assessing whether these issues might be ones that communities could solve for themselves
Yes and No It depends on: ◦ What we mean by responsive ◦ Which ‘communities’ are being accessed ◦ How ‘community’ concerns are dealt with ◦ How police officers and staff behave and ◦ How their actions are communicated and understood Policing by consent, for and with people, is key