Beyond Measuring ‘How Good a Job’ Police Are Doing: The MPS Model of Confidence in Policing

Published: December 2009

In England and Wales, the ‘public confidence agenda’ has enjoined the police service together with their key local partner, local authorities (Home Office, 2008).  Yet before the police can consider this partnership to reduce crime and local disorder, they must know what people think about policing itself.  This paper presents a model built around the question ‘do police do a good job in your local area?’, which serves as the foundation of the Metropolitan Police Service’s (MPS) strategic direction for achieving local confidence.  This model is derived from a multi-layered analysis of the MPS’s local survey, the Public Attitude Survey.  Four key elements—perceptions of police effectiveness, fairness of personal treatment, the level of police engagement with the community, and local people’s concerns about local disorder—have strongly significant effects on ‘overall’ confidence.  Taken together these four elements indicate that public confidence can be influenced by ‘what police do’.  We conclude with a discussion of the implications of the model and how it can be used as a strategic guide for improvement.

Authors / Editors

Research Themes

General Resources

Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice Process and Institutions