The police and public opinion in Britain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


This article examines opinion about the police in Britain. Surveys of opinion about the police have become integral to the assessment of agency performance there. Central government policy calls for the development of a "customer orientation" among police forces, and national and local surveys could play a significant role in monitoring this shift toward greater police accountability to the public. Surveys in Britain have documented dramatic shifts in public satisfaction with policing and detailed data on specific sources of discontent about their performance. They have also examined popular assessments of what the police should be focusing their attention on, as a guide to setting police priorities. This article reviews these trends and the implications of the findings for policing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-432
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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