The Impact Of Citizen Perceptions Of Community Policing On Fear Of Crime: Findings From 12 Cities
Scheider, Rowell, And Bezidikian (2003)
Under the community policing philosophy, reducing citizen fear of crime has become a legitimate objective for police. Using the Twelve Cities Survey, a 1998 supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, this study examines the relationship between citizen perceptions of community policing and fear of crime, including other factors such as satisfaction with police and crime prevention behaviors by citizens.
1) 9,327 households across 12 US cities took part in the "Twelve Cities Survey," designed as a supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) that estimates of the total amount of violent crime and the extent of perceptions of community policing (fear of crime, crime prevention behaviors, satisfaction with police), such that comparison could be made for each of the 12 US cities that were selected. 2) Residents’ perceptions of the extent to which local police engaged in community policing activities (e.g., attending community meetings) in their neighborhoods was the primary independent variable.
1) Perceptions of increased community policing efforts did not directly reduce fear of crime, but they did have a strong positive effect on increasing residents’ crime prevention behaviors and satisfaction with police. This suggests that police interactions with residents (that presumably affect residents’ perceptions of community policing) may frequently involve disseminating and communicating crime prevention tips and information. 2) In half of the cities examined, these crime prevention behaviors were found to have no effect or possibly even increase rather than decrease residents’ fear of crime over this 1-year period. As they become more aware of crimes and take actions to protect themselves, residents may actually become more concerned about personal victimization.