Restoring public confidence through the delivery of improved community policing in Rackhamshire

O'Reilly, Carina, Agnew-Pauley, Winifred and Lundrigan, Sam (2022) Restoring public confidence through the delivery of improved community policing in Rackhamshire. Safer Communities . ISSN 1757-8043

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/SC-03-2021-0008

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Restoring public confidence through the delivery of improved community policing in Rackhamshire
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Abstract

Purpose: Neighbourhood policing is a central approach to supporting public confidence in England and Wales. However, the delivery of neighbourhood policing models is increasingly fragmented, and under pressure from austerity measures and from changes to demand and priorities. This research set out to understand the current state of neighbourhood policing in the county of ‘Rackhamshire’ and its ability to support public confidence.
Methodology: We conducted six focus groups, three with officers who were part of Community Policing Teams (CPTs), and three with members of the community who were actively engaged with community policing and local concerns. These were supplemented by two interviews with senior officers (35 participants in total).
Findings: Austerity-driven changes to policing in Rackhamshire have damaged the capacities of CPTs, and residents have begun to lose confidence in the ability of the police to respond to their fears. We argue that reforms intended to make policing more efficient and effective appear to have the opposite effect on community policing, by preventing it from working in a way that can support public confidence, and that this could have longer-term consequences.
Originality: The effects of austerity on the mechanisms by which neighbourhood policing supports confidence have been relatively neglected. By exploring the state of these mechanisms in one English constabulary, this research has exposed serious weaknesses in the way that community policing is able to support public confidence, and suggest practical operational responses. In light of these findings, this article argues for the urgent reinstatement of earlier models of neighbourhood policing.

Keywords:public confidence, community policing, neighbourhood policing, police visibility, community engagement
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
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ID Code:48952
Deposited On:13 Apr 2022 12:54

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