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Dr Janet Foster ESRC Public Policy Seminar House of Lords 12 th February 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr Janet Foster ESRC Public Policy Seminar House of Lords 12 th February 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr Janet Foster ESRC Public Policy Seminar House of Lords 12 th February 2009

2  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?

3  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

4 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).

5  Attentiveness  Reliability  Responsiveness  Competence  Manners  Fairness Source: Mastrofki, 1999

6  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

7  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


9 Not at all effective21% Not very effective 26% Fairly effective 15% Very effective 6% Don’t know31% Source: Insight Survey, 2008

10 CrimeASB Not at all effective11%12% Not very effective 16%19% Fairly effective 32%31% Very effective 7% 6% Don’t know34% 31% Source: Insight Survey, 2008



13  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


15 Yes, would like to attend39% No, would not like to attend48% Don’t Know12% Source: Insight Survey, 2008

16 Yes, would like to be involved 17% No, would not like to be involved 76% Don’t Know 6% Source: Insight Survey, 2008

17 1234 5 Yes attended SNAP/ STAG meeting 6%3%19%8%5% Like to attend a SNAP meeting 17%26%39%31%16% Would like to be involved in setting police priorities 9%21%23%19%12%


19 Not at all effective17% Not very effective 20% Fairly effective 31% Very effective 9% Don’t know22% Source: Insight Survey, 2008

20 Not at all effective17% Not very effective 19% Fairly effective 26% Very effective 9% Don’t know29% Source: Insight Survey, 2008

21 Strongly Agree 7% Agree58% Neither 9% Disagree10% Disagree strongly 5% Don’t Know12% Source: Insight Survey, 2008

22 Now 1yr ago 3yrsago Excellent/good 44 25 16 Fair 35 38 27 Poor/very poor 12 20 27 Don’t know 8 18 30 Source: Insight Survey, 2008


24 Strongly Agree 19% Agree 64% Neither 6% Disagree 3% Disagree strongly 2% Don’t Know 6% Source: Insight Survey, 2008

25 Strongly Agree 14% Agree 52% Neither 9% Disagree 6% Disagree strongly 5% Don’t Know 14%

26  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

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