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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 73932 Find in a Library
Title: Observation Study of Police Patrol Activities
Author(s): J Junger-Tas; A A van derZee-Nefkens
Corporate Author: Educational and Psychological Measurement
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 32
Sponsoring Agency: Educational and Psychological Measurement
Durham, NC 27708
Format: Document
Language: Dutch
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: The nature and goals of everyday Dutch police patrol work and desirable characteristics for police officers and police organization are investigated.
Abstract: The study is designed to provide information for planning of both police training and police organization. Data derive from observation of all patrol activities in a Dutch city and in six towns for a 2-week period in August 1976. Data are collected on standardized and structured forms; all shifts are covered by the observations, including a total of 184 officers. Results show that uniformed police service makes up two-thirds and office work one-third of police work, that two thirds of patrol time is devoted to preventive activities and one-third to intervention, and that half of all incidents relate to traffic, with information and assistance in second place. Rural police have more contact with the public and supply more assistance than city officers. Long-haired, sloppy individuals are inclined to be uncooperative and aggressive toward officers, who react by becoming authoritarian. Behavioral patterns of officers and the public are correlated, but abuse of authority by officers is rare. These results suggest that police work is dominated by keeping order in the broad sense rather than combating crime, that rural officers are better integrated into their communities than city officers, and that selective processes are at work in police interaction with particular segments of the population. The findings underline the need to strike a balance between centralization and decentralization as well as between small neighborhood units and large squads. The study also emphasizes that police-public contacts must be increased. As poor relations with any segment of the population tend to adversely affect police morale and public trust, community relations programs must be developed to educate the public. Special committees of police officers and citizens can be formed to discuss problems such as who is to be questioned on the street and why. Police officers must also be trained to intervene in a controlled fashion in conflict situations, to interact with a variety of social groups, and to understand the problems of the numerous sociocultural elements of society. Appendixes contain extensive tables.
Index Term(s): Community involvement; Foreign police; Foreign police training; Netherlands; Patrol; Police community relations; Police human relations training; Police organizational structure; Police responsibilities; Police-offender relations; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Public education; Rural policing; Rural urban comparisons
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