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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97259 Find in a Library
Title: Consumer Perspectives on Police Operational Strategy
Journal: Journal of Police Science and Administration  Volume:13  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1985)  Pages:10-21
Author(s): T J Flanagan
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 12
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data from the ABC News Poll of Public Opinion on Crime were used to analyze public preferences for alternative police operational strategies in relation to respondent demographic characteristics and cognate attitudinal measures.
Abstract: Respondents in this nationwide 1982 telephone survey were 2,464 adults. The analysis was based on 2,447 weighted cases. Fifty-seven percent of the respondents felt that the police should respond 'only to those calls for help which the caller says involve a crime or suspected crime.' Preference for 'full service' policing was higher among blacks, older persons, residents of predominantly black neighborhoods, and residents of age-homogeneous neighborhoods. Neither perceived likelihood of becoming a victim of violent crime, perception of personal safety on the streets after dark, nor worry about crime were significantly related to strategy preference. Respondents who perceived that the national crime rate was rising were less likely to prefer narrowing of the police role to responsibility for crime calls alone. The attitudinal indicators, like the demographic measures, suggest that citizen perceptions about the proper role of the police are diverse. Citizen support for narrowing the police role is likely to be shaped more directly by personal ramifications than broad policy preferences. It is the noncrime-related emergencies and the order maintenance cases which may escalate into victimization that raise questions about police ability to implement a restricted crime-fighter operational strategy, at least in the absence of alternate service delivery mechanisms. Tabular data and 23 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Demography; Police responsibilities; Public Opinion of the Police
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