U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

What You Think -- Rank and File Puts 'Strong, Positive' Policing Above Crime Prevention

NCJ Number
Police Volume: 22 Issue: 6 Dated: (March 1990) Pages: 21-26
Date Published
About 2,000 police officers from 43 forces in England and Wales responded to a questionnaire which sought their views on a wide range of policing issues.
The 18-question survey was confidential, and the response rate was over 80 percent. Morale among police officers was generally satisfactory, although morale was somewhat lower in the junior ranks. When it did exist, low morale was attributed to management style. There was considerable concern about manpower shortages, but low resources in other areas such as vehicles were not seen as a major problem. All police officers were concerned about the extent to which administrative and clerical work took them away from their normal duties. They generally felt that strong, positive policing, arrest, and prosecution and stricter laws and fines are more effective in reducing crime than soft policing such as prevention, community liaison, and a caring approach to policing. They also indicated that less frequent, more serious crimes such as violent robbery and sexual assault should be a priority, although domestic burglary was rated as the highest priority. Police officers felt that additional resources should be committed to foot patrols. 9 tables, 15 figures.