Research report – Home Office, December 2009, Improving public confidence in the police

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In the context of a strong governmental focus to improve the relations between the police and population, the Home Office, United Kingdom, published a study in December 2009. It re-affirms the pertinence of community policing and gives evidence-based guidance to what is likely to work best to increase public confidence that the police and local councils are dealing with local crime and anti-social behaviour issues.

The study looks at elements in the existing scientific literature and local practices and classifies the interventions in three categories: what works, what looks promising and also the potentials obstacles.

The results – supported by evidence – are the following: what works is the increase in community engagement by the police (with the implementation of community policing), and a better communication strategy towards the population. The evaluation shows that the success of community policing depends on the complete and effective implementation of three strategies: engagement with the community, targeted foot-patrols, and an efficient problem-solving approach.

What looks promising is to put in place confidence-building activities in localised areas (where fear of crime is superior to the actual level of crime). Consulting inhabitants using varied methods, training policemen but also some members of the community, building a multi-agency strategy aimed at better communication and not a multiplication of messages, reducing visible signposts of crime…are also promising interventions to raise the public confidence in the police.

One of the obstacles is the cultural change required inside the Police institution itself, some individuals are not enthusiastic regarding the full implementation of community policing.

Please find this study with many more detailsHERE.