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Impact of Police Reform on Communities of Trinidad and Tobago

NCJ Number
Journal of Experimental Criminology Volume: 7 Issue: 4 Dated: December 2011 Pages: 375-405
David B. Wilson; Roger B. Parks; Stephen D. Mastrofski
Date Published
December 2011
31 pages
This article examines reforms implemented at five selected police stations in Trinidad and Tobago.
Reforms were implemented at five selected police stations in Trinidad and Tobago. The reforms were designed to improve the services delivered by police stations, to reduce crime, and to increase public confidence in the police. The intervention involved improving police facilities, vehicles, and equipment, and enhancing station staffing, training, and technical assistance to improve basic police work and station management/supervision. It introduced service-oriented, problem-solving approaches to replace the traditional colonial and post-colonial models of policing. The evaluation of this intervention used a quasi-experimental comparison group design that included five comparison stations matched to the five model stations on crime and disorder. Face-to-face surveys were conducted with adults residing in the communities served by the model and comparison stations. Probability sampling of households was used to identify respondents. There were two waves of measurement, one before the start of the intervention and another 1 year later. Statistically significant results in the predicted direction were observed for 5 of 14 outcomes expected to changes as a result of the reforms: (a) customer orientation, (b) effective control of crime/gangs, (c) fear of crime, (d) perception of the crime problem in the neighborhood, and (e) perception of crime as the biggest problem in the community. The pattern of results is suggestive, albeit weakly so, that the reforms of the model stations initiative had positive effects. Furthermore, results were larger at stations with better implementation of the reforms. (Published Abstract)