skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 134802 Find in a Library
Title: Policing by the Public and Policing by the Police (From Policing and the Community, P 21-28, 1987, Peter Willmott, ed. -- See NCJ-134801)
Author(s): J Shapland; J Vagg
Date Published: 1987
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Policy Studies Institute
London, NW1 3SR, England
Sale Source: Policy Studies Institute
100 Park Village East
London, NW1 3SR,
United Kingdom
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This analysis of the relationship between policing done by the police and the informal policing carried out by residents and local business people in England reveals gaps between police and citizen attitudes and that the characteristic police response does not blend easily with what citizens do informally.
Abstract: The research focused on several small villages and groups of streets in the Midlands. Information came from interviews, informal observations over a 27-month period, and analysis of official crime reports and telephone calls to police. Results revealed that in all areas, the main problems were vandalism, loitering adolescents, litter, noise, parked cars, and similar problems. However, problems were extremely localized and recurring, and solutions were often difficult to find. Informal policing by citizens consisted of watching a small area and asking suspicious persons if they were lost. Local officials also wrote letters to property owners or hardened targets of vandalism. Citizens decided when to contact the police, usually when informal approaches failed, thereby turning over to the police the control over decisions and information. Police viewed themselves as responding to isolated incidents rather than to recurring problems and had difficulty dealing with these recurring problems. In addition, the police may not be fully aware that they are not the only or even the major source of social control. 16 references
Main Term(s): Informal social control
Index Term(s): Community relations; Foreign police; Police effectiveness; Public Opinion of the Police; United Kingdom (UK)
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.