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Transcript of Woodhouse Project
Year 1 - 2: A drop in the average of question 12 (all parts) tallied with the drop in question 13
Year 2 -3: A rise in the average of question 12 (all parts) tallied with the rise in both question 13 and the now included question 24b. 1) Visibility
Mentioned by many individuals, and at every focus group.
One young male summed itup by saying
“If you can’t see them, you don’t think they’re doing a good job”.
2) Speed of response
Particularly discussed by those who had either direct or vicarious experiences of crime. The responses often centred on negative recollections, particularly where the outcome was seen negatively. Woodhouse Project Aims of the project Evaluate the Your Voice Counts survey as an effective measurement tool
A particular focus on
confidence Test the SYP theory that: Confidence
Fear of Crime
Construct a working knowledge of the key terms Secondary aims Principle Aim: Satisfaction + Performance = Confidence Jonathan Swain
University of Sheffield
School of Law Methodology Literature review Analyse YVC Utilise academic research into the key definitions
Construct from this a working set of definitions of the terms, and identify the various indirect measures which interplay to form the indicators
Use this to deconstruct the SYP theory Using the literature review, examine the YVC survey in detail Highlight the various ways in which the key indicators are tested in the survey Highlight any strengths and weaknesses in the survey Conduct Public Research Undertake focus groups with the public
Taking key questions from YVC, examine the factors that the public consider when answering the questions Public Understanding Academic Understanding YVC Ideal Measures Public Understanding Your Voice Counts Academic Understanding Most Accurate
Measures Satisfaction Confidence Vicarious experience Outcome of the encounter Number and nature of victimisatons Nature of the contact Number of contacts A measure of opinions on past contact with the police. It only to applies those people who have had DIRECT contact with the police themsleves Unique Factors that Influence Satisfaction: Implications A measure of opinion of the police as a whole; whether they are doing "a good job". BUT: Many of the factors which have been found to influence the public opinions on the police CANNOT be DIRECTLY influenced by the police Satisfaction is a key area of constructing confidence.
Individuals with high satisfaction from contact tend to have a much higher overall opinion of the police
It is CRUCIAL in creating higher confidence to address areas of weakness in satisfaction, whatever they may be. The nature of the contact has a strong impact on the level of satisfaction
There are two kinds of contact:
voluntary (citizen initiated)
involuntary (police initiated)
Involuntary contact has a much lower level of satisfaction than voluntary contact. This has been going to be the most important factor in satisfaction. Repeated contacts with the police can compound the effects of initial encounters
This can be by:
Confirming and reinforcing views from previous encounters
Creating or reinforcing perceptions of unfair treatment (particularly in racial situations)
An outcome can severely affect the satisfaction
Where nothing can be done, this can lower satisfaction greatly
Practical concern may not be viewed objectively by the public.
Involuntary encounters particularly can lead to negative satisfaction as a result of an "undesirable" outcome (in other words, punishment)
Repeated victimisation can lead to lower satisfaction
The nature of the crime can lead to lower satisfaction
(either due to lack of positive outcome, or greater emotional trauma) Race Age Gender Class Most research on this is focused in the USA, and focuses around the lower opinions held by blacks and Hispanics compared to their white counterparts
Whilst in Woodhouse, ethnic minorities compose only a very small proportion of the population, it may be an issue within a wider area
Of the demographic factors, it is race that has consistently been shown to have an effect. Note that there is some interplay between other factors, such as the race-class nexus
These factors clearly cannot be influenced by the police. However factors can perhaps be mitigated by increasing involvement with lower opinion groups The research surrounding age has been very mixed.
Some find that younger people have more negative opinions. Others find that it is older people who have lower opinions.
However it may be that different groups require different factors to have a higher opinion Again, research here has mixed results. A thorough analysis of local results would need to be undertaken to understand how gender affects results in the area Class is commonly examined in how it interplays with other factors. Like all demographic factors it should not be considered in isolation, but as part of a more complicated overall structure. Implications The main implication of the research on demographic is that the various demographics need be engaged to raise opinions.
This means taking into consideration that different groups may have different and even conflicting opinions on what is important Demographic Quality of life factors Fear of Crime Community factors Complex interrelationship This relationship of factors need be considered instead of the SYP perception of "performance".
The SYP definition is based on traditional policing outcomes (reduced crime).
Instead, what indicates performance is indicted by those factors deemed important by the public, and which feature in their congnitive understanding of police performance The factors that form 'confidence' are created by this interplay between the fear of crime, and perceptions of the physical and social environment The experiences and opinions of others, who may have had some form of contact with the police
This can be second hand experiences, or further such as third hand and beyond (for example the news)
Whilst second hand experience can be improved by the police at a local level, certain national events cannot be controlled and may undermine (or promote) public perceptions
Literature Review Key Points 1) There are two types of public that the Police must consider
2) Many factors cannot be directly influenced by the Police
3) There are two kinds of indicators - direct and indirect
4)The relationship between the factors is complicated and
5) Some factors are outside police control
Community factors are factors entrenched within a community
Community factors define the things to which individuals attach importance.
Role of the police within the community
Factors of police work that are particularly significant
QoL factors are perceptions of the standard of living in the area
But "just because many members of the community are poor, this reality does not necessitate that the neighborhood be an unpleasant place to live" Schuck et al (2008)
Perception of the encounter How people perceive the contact is important
Politeness and helpfulness
Accurate and honest information
Followed up with further information Fear of Crime is a very complicated indicator, which has much literature devoted to it. This can only begin to scratch the surface of that literature Subjective Pyschological conception Dispositional Fear Contextual Fear consists of both episodic and dispositional fear:
Episodic fear is an incident where the individual becomes "afraid"
Dispositional fear is the likelihood that the individual will become afraid in a given situation
The more episodes of fear experienced, the more likely that the dispositional fear of the individual increases
It is therefore important to indicate the number of episodes of fear, as well as simply "being feaful" in general. Research has shown that individuals are likely to be afraid at some point, but the question of frequency is very important in really understanding fear Perceptions of vulnerability Certain people will consider themselves more vulnerable to being a victim of crime.
These assessments are often very wrong. Research has shown that those with the highest chances of victimisation often have the lowest perception of their own vulnerability Fear of Crime is not based on objective assessment
It will be based on subjective assessments of the world around them (C.F. community and quality of life) Those crimes which take on importance are contextual. Concern about particular disorders varies between and within communities. It must be seen as a contextual indicator.
See the work of Innes on Signal Crimes, and note the role of communities in setting values noted elsewhere here. Gabrial and Greve's pyschological conception sees fear as requiring three elements: C A M
• the individual's cognitive perception of being threatened (C),
• a corresponding affective experience (A) and
• an appropriate motive or action tendency (M).
Your Voice Counts Literature Review Introduction Starting Points: Two Types of Indicators Direct Indicators Indirect Indicators Ask very direct questions, that seek to illicit broad general answers such as levels of confidence, satisfaction or fear of crime. These indicators tap into the factors which give rise to the direct indicator outcomes What do they create?
A single statistic which can be pointed to. "Confidence is up X%"
Clearly a desirable outcome! Critique BUT We know that each key concept is created by a very complicated relationship What does a direct indicator really show us? The reality is unfortunatley
VERY LITTLE Implications Direct indicators may be misleading.
Positive outcomes will not show WHY there has been a increase.
In isolation, you cannot say WHY any factor is low, and WHAT need be improved So what accounts for changes in the indicator? Critique These indicators highlight the underlying reasons for the major indicators
They allow for particlar areas of improvement to be noted BUT These indicators can be related to a complex interrelationship of factors
The Police cannot always influence some of these indicators Implications Indirect Indicators are a very important part of the measurement process
They should make up the majority of the indicators in YVC
They need cover a wide range of indirect indicators The Survey The constraints imposed by the BCS Satisfaction is dealt with in much greater detail elsewhere The Survey In Detail The Survey Indicators Direct Indicators - Underlined
Confidence - green
Satisfaction - blue
Fear (perception) of crime - red
Indirect Indicators - highlighted
Quality of life issues - yellow
Community value/norms - Orange
Victmisation - blue
Vicarious experience/information - green Key Clearly there are many more indirect indicators than direct indicators Confidence Indicators Direct Indicators Question 24 b) The police and local council are dealing with the anti-social behaviour and crime issues that matter in this area Question 13) Taking everything into account, how good a job do you think the police in this area are doing? The Woodhouse results show an increase of +22.9% between years 2 and 3 of those answering 'excellent' or 'good'.
"Confidence" has "risen" - BUT what is this indicating?
The public, when questioned about the key factors in rating the police said: Most people when asked to consider this question said they wouldn't give a different answer than they would for question 13.
This contrasts with the Woodhouse findings from year 3.
There was a strong feeling that the LA and Police working together was a positive thing. The BCS single measure indicator Criticsim of the indicator Mixes 'crime' with 'ASB'
Mixes council with police (further compounding the above)
As a result, the indicator taps into the indirect indicators of quality of life, community factors and fear of crime.
Fails to ask what demonstrates that they are dealing with it well. This may be visible quality of life indicators, satisfaction, community factors, and fear of crime.
The question is largely meaningless
Interestingly: Implication Question 13 becomes largely meaningless in isolation.
There may be an improvement in confidence, but its causes can only be identified slewhere Implication Again, the measure is largely meaningless.
What does a change in result actually show?
What makes the public think the Police and Council are performing? The answers for question 13 indicate the factors are quite wide A few points of note Indirect Indicators Community Factors Quality of Life Factors Fear of Crime Satisfaction Question overlap Many of these questions actually fall into more than one catagory.
Question 12 Questions 15 - 17 Question 24 Questions 25 & 26 Question 30 Question 29 Question 30 Questions 1,2, 4-6 Question 8 Question 9 & 10 The Signal Crimes Perspective (the work of Innes and collegues) "signal crimes" are indicative of a worsening situations, or heightened risk of an area.
A "greater than the sum of their parts" type effect
Certain low level disorders are viewed as ‘signs’ of an increasing risk.
Viewed as important by individuals, because they act “as forms of communicative action that are interpreted by individuals and collectives as indicators about levels of security, risk and hazard”.
Low level disorders indicate that disorder is rife.
High instances of low level disorders are signals that the area has lapsed in its morals, and is more unsafe. Thus whilst some questions get opinions on quality of life, the particular importance of any given signal is determined by community norms For example: Question 9 & 10 Question 30 Questions 1 & 2 Question 11 Question 14 Vicarious Experience Question 11 To what extent do you agree with the following statements? a) The police understand the issues that affect this community
b) The police are dealing with the things that matter to the people in this community
c) The police can be relied upon ot be there when you need them
d) The police in this area would treat you with respect if you had contact with them for any reason
e) The police in this area treat everyone fairly regardless of who they are
f) I can influence policing decisions affecting my local area Analysis: These questions link closely to the work of Jackson and Sunshine They suggest
if fear results from perception of erosion of morality and values held in high esteem in the neighbourhood, police are seen negatively where they are perceived to fail to reflect the values of the community These questions ask about confidence in the CJS as a whole, and the impact this has on confidence in the police The discussion of punishments being too lenient came up on a number of occasions.
One participant at the Police Authority meeting even questioned the motivation of becoming a policemen because:
"The judiciary undermine the job" The year 3 report - only26.8% said the CJS had a very positive or positive impact on perceptions of the police
What is MUCH more important in the % of people who feel the CJS undermines confidence in the police, or for whom it has no effect.
Trends in the answers to this question cannot be considered in isolation - there may be national changes that affect the outcome. However, this is very difficult to measure.
In theory the negative impact of the CJS on the police mitigates confidence levels - it implies they would be higher BUT FOR their views on the CJS. Analysis (a)How much do you agree or disagree that the police and local council seek people’s views about the ASB and crime issues that matter in this area?
(b) How much do you agree or disagree that the police and local council are dealing with crime and ASB that matter?
(c)How much do you agree that you can influence decisions affecting your local area? Analysis: Questions 12(f) and 24(c) are very similarly worded, except the latter includes the council. The difference between the two asnwers is only 5.2% (in favour of the police alone).
If the council really were dragging down opinion of the police, one would expect a gap similar to that noted above To what extent do you agree or disagree that in your local area, parents take enough responsibility for the behaviour of their children? In your local area, how much of a problem, if at all, do you think there is with people not treating each other with respect and consideration? Analysis: Tapping into conceptions of community cohesion, and willingness to intervene in preventing social disorder
Sampson and Raundenbush – collective efficacy:
The capacity for neighbourhoods to engage in informal social control to prevent disorder
Drawing together collective efficacy, Innes' signal crimes perspective and Jackson and Sunshine's work, this is a very important indicator of confidence.
Lack of social control is linked to higher physical and social disorder. This is linked to a loss of percepton of control of the area. This is then linked to the importance of the police representing local values.
Which of the following would you like to see in your community to help you feel safer? More high profile patrols- More facilities for young people - Environmental improvements - Better feedback from police and partners- More Neighbourhood Watch schemes - More leaflets/newsletters from police and partners- More facilities for older people - More opportunities to consult with police and partners - More community events - More opportunities to get involved in the community - None
The answers from this question are very important! Accepting confidence as a complex construction, this question taps into may possible communty norm factors.
It gives indication of the importance of
visibility of police,
the role of other organisations,
and need for facilities
Note that some of these are beyond police control. By addressing safety, quality of life issues are raised
For instance the top two answers in year 3 were:
1) More high profile patrols - 75.4%
2) More facilities for young people - 68.8% During public consultation, visibility of police was the most common answer to factors affecting confidence (q. 13).
Young people in public spaces was commonly mentioned, and it was often acknowledged that addressing this was often outside police authority. Analysis: Do you believe that the overall level of crime in your area is currently...
How much would you say that the level of crime in your area has changed in the last 12 months? Analysis: The problem with asking about crime is that it has become synonymous with ASB When interviewing the public, the most popular factors that were mentioned in consinderation of this question were:
(1) Gangs of youths
(3)Directly saying 'ASB'
(4) General disturbances (noise drunks, neighbours etc)
(5) Drugs Question 7 Thus, this question is almost a complete overlap with Q 4 (with some additions) Some figures:
People who consider the following a Big or Very Big problem in year 3
Crime (Q 1) - 28.7%,
ASB (Q 4) - 34.2% Using data from Q 9 (priorities for police & partners) the top concerns are:
(2) Teenagers hanging around on the streets
(3) People using or dealing drugs
(4) Vandalism, graffiti and damage
(5) Muggings and robberies
The meaning of concern about "Crime" is largely undermined by the lack of definition of the term. What emerges is the level of merging of ASB and crime in the mind of the public.
This question is therefore largely useless without looking at question 9 for further information. It is in fact largely about quality of life and community factors (setting concerns and physical disorder) Most of us worry at some time or other about being the victim of a crime. How worried are you about... Analysis: It would be possible to attack the question of a very theoretical level... However, it is far more practical to consider elements that make the question/results misleading 1) The question format 2) Quantity of fearful episodes 3) The importance of demographic breakdown The question is leading. It was very heavily criticised for being so by the preliminary focus group.
A (very small number) of the public picked up on by several members of the public.
When questioned more closely, other members of the researcg group either tacitly accepted they were afraid, or said that there were not.
A few telling comments: "I wouldn't have been worried until I read that" - Female, aged 16-24
'It's a stupid statement; all people worry at some point..." Male, aged 16-24 4) Assesment of personal vulnerability Influential work of Farrall and Gadd
Looking at indicators of higher levels of fear, they found the actual number of times that an individual was likely to have experienced that fear is very low.
This makes this indicator extremely misleading. Under this indicator, one particularly distressing episode could lead to a very high result. A strong link found between personal perception of vulnurbaility and concern for crimes
Perhaps some kind of assessment into this may explain high levels of concern.
Several respondents who said they weren't afriad commented on their ability to look after themselves, and some expressed concern for friends and family less able. Demographic has very strong link to concern about crime.
A more useful indicator would the answers broken down by demographic (also Qs 1-2/4-6).
Key concerns of each demographic could be more accurely addressed = improve confidence in the key demographics.
Indicators of community and quality of life factors should be used in conjunction, similarly broken down by demographic. Implications The questions covering this topic are particularly weak. There is clear room for improvement. The most important point is that the results can be misleadingly negative The clear link with quality of life and community factors means that demographic breakdown is important to assess groups most concerned.
Without this, the results may be very misleading I would suggest that therefore confidence links closely with the police being seen to reflect communty values and dealing with isssues seen as important More emphasis need be placed on this question as an indicator Implication Significant wight needs to be placed on the answers from:
12 (c) & (d),
25 and 26 are important indicators of social cohesion, which is linked to confidence
but is ultimately outside police control People get their information about the police from many sources. Which ones listed below do you
personally get most information from about the police in your local area? It is difficult to assess the impact of vicarious experience.
However, a number of participants did mention second hand experiences during the discussions. Clearly there is some influence The influence of other sources can only be assessed by another analysis.
The level of ifluence is subject to some debate among academics Presentation Key Where possible, key points and implications have been included in circular frames A square frame indicates the the title has further information contained under it Ocassionaly they are used as focal points for emphasis Acknowldgement A cursory analysis of the PRU reveals that there are very detailed additional analyses regarding satisfaction.
This seems to cover the major theoretical concerns surrounding satisfaction
The key point is that academics have found satisfaction to be a crucial factor in public opinions of the police People get their information about the police from many sources. Which ones listed below do you personally get most information from about the police in your local area? .... Personal experience As noted elsewhere, academics suggest that personal experience of the police is extremely influential in forming/confirming/altering public opinions on the police A comparison should be made between the % of people who said they had contact with the police in the preceeding 12 months, and the % who selected this answer. Question 28 Were you aware total recorded crime in Sheffield is currently at its lowest for several years (since 2001)? Analysis: It is important to note the following:
The number of people with knowledege of this is low (15.2%)
Confidence (direct indicators) remains realtively high There are 2 implications
Fear of Crime is not based on objective experience of figures
Regardless of views of the public thinking crime is high, confidence remains good.
Thus, not too much weight should be placed on this figure. Much less concern should be placed on kowledge of low crime rates. This conception of "performance" is clearly flawed Overall, the last time you came into contact with the police, were you satisfied or dissatisfied with the service you received? A very simplistic question that fails to address any of the factors that relate to satisfaction. These questions have already been covered under Fear of Crime The key point from the literature review is that perceptions of quality of life strongly relate to public opinions of the police. In isolation, this question reveals little of practical benefit. However, when combined with those questions that elicit the key factors that need be adressed in the community, then improvements can be tracked How much of a problem are the following in your neighbourhood?
-Noisy neighbours or loud parties - Rubbish or litter lying around -Teenagers hanging around on the streets - Vandalism, graffiti and other deliberate damage to property or vehicles - Abandoned or burnt out cars - People using or dealing drugs- People being drunk or rowdy in public places Analysis: The answers to this question are particularly useful. It allows for an accurate assessment of local priorities, which can then be addressed by the police.
Issues of physical disorder can have a suprisingly negative impact ( see Innes )
The key flaw with this is that it can exacerbate the idea that the police should be dealing with these issues, meaning that the presence of this disorder undermines confidence.
If the job of the police becomes congitively associated with things they cannot address, it can undermine the genuine work they do. 39.5% of people considered litter to be a problem.
It was the #1 concern in the quality of life indicator. Mark up to five things in column A that you think the police and its partner agencies should deal with as a priority in your area.
Look at the list in Q9 again and mark one thing in column B that if dealt with successfully, would make the most positive difference to living in your local area. Please put one X in column B Analysis: These indicators are particularly important:
Quality of life indicators are strognly related to opinions of the police. This demonstrates key areas of importance set by community values
It is important to consider Q 7&8 in conjunction.
The list of top problems does not identically match the list of problems to deal with with, or to make the area better Further, note that 9&10 have different priorities at #4 and #5. (1) Futher evidence that question 7 may be leading
(2) That feeling something should be dealt with does not mean it would make the area palapable better. Note that #4 and #5 are matters of ASB; public acts.
Questions concerning efficacy of dispersal orders This reinforces the idea that groups of youths are a serious concern.
In reality this therefore adds little. This has been addressed in "Communtiy Factors". It is included here to emphaises that there is a significat overlap between the topics. Implications These questions are useful in indicating those factors which should be addressed a priority. These questions should therefore continue to be important in analysing the reasons behind confidence in the police Those few studies which have focused on confidence have tended to either create a one-dimensional construction of the term in relation to satisfaction. More sophisticated studies have idenitified 3 factors:
perceptions of effectiveness in dealing with crime
perception of fairness Community engagement is here labled as "community factors", but stretches to incorporate perceptions of fairness. Effectiveness in dealing with crime has been divided into two sections "fear of crime" and "quality of life" to include the important Signal Crimes Perspective which remains influential in reassurance policing principles.
A number of factors have been incorporated under the various headings to accomodate other studies. See the work of Bradford et al - 'Contact and confidence: revisiting the impact of public encounters with the police'
Policing & Society, 2009, 125, iFirst article
It would seem there is a direct relationship between satisfaction and confidence.
However, it may be due to affecting the various factors that compose confidence, reflected in the complex relationship below. It also relates to personal perception of the community namely:
Perceptions of collective efficacy
Perception of communtiy involvement The Asymmetric relationship of satisfaction It has been found that the relationship between contact and satisfaction is asymmetric, although the degree to which this is true has been challenged
In other words
Negative contact strongly linked with much higher chance of lower confidence
Positive contact only more weakly linked with higher chance of higher confidence
The Output Reports This suggests that something else accounts for the difference between the two questions. I would suggest that, given the BCS finding that a large number of drivers must underpin this question, that it is the difference in wording that explains the difference.
Questions 13 and 24b are evoking different underlying drivers. Given the wider scope of question 13, I would suggest it is drivers evoked by this question rasising confidence, rather than drivers in question 24b lowering the score. Looking at parts (a) and (c) more specifically. Looking at question 12 revealed the rise and fall was mimicked by the trend for question 13.
Given that the questions are similar, trends in (a)&(c) are likely to be mimicked by (b). But: This question needs to be buttressed with a further one: current perception of these factors. It is important not only to understand what the public want more or, but how much they percieve now.
For instance, a question that asks how often, when and where they see police officers in Woodhouse. Used with a map to plot results it would show the most/least effect patrols. What is also missing is (for questions 2 & 6) is any indication of incidence. The questions qould be much improved by asking about this, as it gives a greater indication of the scale of the problem Some other criticisms Questions 1 - 6 Questions 9&10 The survey is a point of contact The introductory notes do nothing to seperate ASB and crime in the minds of the public. Perhaps redraft the introductory notice to list a few examples. This may result in a lowering of perceptions of crime in the area. Counter-intuitive design. Have both 9 & 10 above the list, or change to be 9(a) and (b) (again above the list) Consider the reply rate for the survey. This percentage of people are taking an active interest in local policing (or at least enough to fill in the survey). So why not use the survey to get across other information? For instance a single additional page at the back with some limited information on? It may avoid drawbacks of traditional fly posting. Looking at the two major output reports The Woodhouse specific output The Final Reports The specific report is simply an overall list of the answers, compared to preceeding years and the Force average. This is useful for a year by year comparison, but it lacks any real practical application.
Given the wealth of contextual imformation contained, a much more focused report could easilly be produced that would give a concise indication of what the key weaknesses and areas for improvement are. The final reports need to be refocused to better explain the various drivers of confidence. Concern remains still too focused on perceptions of ASB and crime, at the expense of the contextual signal crimes and control signals. A refocused report should be created that better gives an indication of where the Force as a whole is falling short. In particular the "additional questions" need to become an integral part of the report. Conclusion & Key Points Incorporate question 13 as an intergral componant It is probably a better indicator of confidence than the limited focus of the BCS indicator Confidence A complicated term, based on the interaction between a large number of factors The role of satisfaction should not be underplayed Performance is NOT crime rates. It is what the public deem as important Implication Shift away from concentration on crime/ASB rates and perception, to a broader focus. YVC Survey The BCS confidence indicator is largely useless. It is a headline grabber and has no practical use. Question 13 needs to be take on more importance. The disparity between 13 and 24b is most likely NOT due to the inclusion of the council, but the phrasing of the questions There are a number of key questions that should be taken more into account, as they are crucial in understandind local confidence drivers. Most notably is the question 30. This question also needs to be supplemented with questions surrounding police visibility. Fear of crime is sorely underdeveloped, and is most likely giving overly negative results. The leading nature of the question should be removed.