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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 115252 Find in a Library
Title: Losing the Fight Against Crime
Author(s): R Kinsey; J Lea; J Young
Date Published: 1986
Page Count: 221
Sponsoring Agency: Basil Blackwell & Mott, Ltd
Oxford, OX4 1JF, England
Publication Number: ISBN 0-631-13721-1
Sale Source: Basil Blackwell & Mott, Ltd
108 Cowley Road
Oxford, OX4 1JF, England
United Kingdom
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Research conducted throughout the United Kingdom and a recent study of Merseyside forms the basis of an analysis of the decline in the effectiveness of the British police in detecting and apprehending criminals and the recommendation of reforms to regain the public support the police have lost.
Abstract: Reported crime in Great Britain has risen by almost 40 percent since 1979. However, sharply increased expenditures on policing have not been matched by increases in police efficiency and effectiveness. Thus, the proportion of offenses that are cleared has declined each year, even though many offenses are comparatively simple to detect. The prison service is just as ineffective as the police service, with prison populations rising as more prisons are built. To determine citizen attitudes and needs regarding the police, an interview survey gathered information from 3,500 residents of Merseyside. Results showed that rising crime is having particular impacts on the most vulnerable sections of the population, including poor people, elderly people, women, and ethnic minorities. However, the sections of the public who suffer the most from crime and who have the most information to impart to the police are also those who are the least helped and the most harassed by the police. Thus, the failures of the police result from a decline in public confidence. To regain public confidence, the police need major reforms, including major restructuring and democratic accountability, together with reliance on the concept of 'minimal policing.' This form of policing involves minimal police-initiated action or use of coercion and maximum public access and initiation of police action. Figures, tables, index, and 59 references.
Main Term(s): Police effectiveness
Index Term(s): Community support; Police reform; Public Opinion of the Police; United Kingdom (UK)
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