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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97137 Find in a Library
Title: Community Constables - A Study of a Policing Initiative
Author(s): D Brown; S Iles
Corporate Author: Great Britain Home Office
Research and Planning Unit
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 56
Sponsoring Agency: Great Britain Home Office
London. SW1H 9AT, England
Home Office Research Unit
London, England SW1
Sale Source: Home Office Research Unit
Romney House
Marsham Street
United Kingdom
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Results are presented from a study of five British police forces to determine constables' routine activities and constraints affecting their work.
Abstract: Three hundred constables were surveyed, and a subsample of 200 of these and a smaller number of senior officers were interviewed. The forces studied were those of Devon and Cornwall, predominantly rural areas; Lancashire, Avon and Somerset, and Essex, a mix of rural and urban areas; and West Yorkshire, an almost completely industrial area. Compared with other areas of police work, community policing was found to contain a disproportionately high number of male officers, with only 8 percent of the sample of constables being female. Further, a range of general duties and abstractions from normal duty together was found to keep constables out of public sight for more than half their duty hours. Many constables considered that these tasks adversely affected their work and their own beats. Further, community constables' hours of duty were not always planned to take account of local crime patterns or community activity, and constables spent only a small portion of their working time in activities whose primary purpose was to improve police/public relations. Finally, many constables left community policing after short periods of time to further their careers; this practice has detracted from the continuity of policing on particular beats. Results highlight the need for more adequate organizational backing for community constables and emphasize the importance of defining ways in which that support might be provided.
Index Term(s): Constables; England; Foreign police/community relations; Police department surveys; Police responsibilities
Note: Research and Planning Unit Paper 30.
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