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It Depends What You Mean by ‘Confident’: Operationalizing Measures of Public Confidence and the Role of Performance Indicators
Andy Myhill*, Paul Quinton**, Ben Bradford***, Alexis Poole**** and Gillian Sims*****

Downloaded from at Keele University on November 7, 2011

Centralized performance frameworks for the police in England and Wales have been the subject of considerable debate. Evidence from both the British Crime Survey and local force surveys shows that setting performance targets for public confidence in the police based on single indicator survey measures can have conceptual and practical difficulties. Specifically, such measures can misrepresent the views of some respondents and might underestimate public support for the police. We argue in favour of local public attitudes surveys reconfigured to measure aspects of procedural fairness, police legitimacy, and public intentions to co-operate.

In 2008, the UK Home Office introduced a question to the British Crime Survey (BCS) that was intended to measure public confidence in agencies’ efforts to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB). The question—‘How much would you agree or disagree that the police and local council

are dealing with the anti-social behaviour and crime issues that matter in this area’—was subsequently used to measure performance against a ‘single top-down target’ for policing that formed part of Public Service Agreement (PSA) 23. While there was recognition that confidence is a multi-faceted concept (see Bradford et al., 2009), the question was deliberately intended to focus on

à Andy Myhill, Senior Research Officer, National Policing Improvement Agency, London, UK. E-mail: Ãà Paul Quinton, Principal Research Officer, National Policing Improvement Agency, London, UK. E-mail: ÃÃà Ben Bradford, Methodology Institute, London School of Economics, London, UK. E-mail: ÃÃÃà Alexis Poole, Head of Performance and Analysis, Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, Exeter, UK. E-mail: ÃÃÃÃà Gillian Sims, Force Consultation Manager, Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, Exeter, UK. E-mail:

Policing, Volume 5, Number 2, pp. 114–124 doi:10.1093/police/par027 ß The Authors 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CSF Associates: Publius, Inc. All rights reserved. For permissions please e-mail:

Flanagan. This focus. it has been argued. contained a question asking respondents ‘how good a job’ they think the police in their local area are doing. we will argue that. however. We also propose that forces adopt survey indicators that focus more on the key outcomes that may flow from greater trust and confidence: legitimacy and willingness to co-operate with the police. the target was often referred to by policy makers and practitioners as the ‘confidence target’.org/ at Keele University on November 7. Farrall. Downloaded from http://policing. and the local council) and concepts that were open to interpretation (what does ‘dealing with’ the issues that matter involve? Matter to whom?). for example. 1992) and police practitioners were particularly concerned about the effect including ‘local council’ in the question may have on public perceptions. Much work was undertaken by the National Policing Improvement Agency to try to help police forces understand their performance against the PSA23 target. the question asked respondents to consider multiple concepts (crime. many observers felt that a ‘confidence’ measure should incorporate prospective perceptions: what the police ‘might’ do as well as what they ‘have’ done (Farrall. For expediency. There has been considerable debate among researchers. however. for example. Based on analysis of data from the BCS and from a local police force survey. created a disconnect between the police and the public. The BCS has. The specific question used for the PSA23 target was also criticized by both academics and police practitioners both in terms of its composition and scope (see. 2010) as opposed to simple instrumental responsiveness (whether the public are confident that agencies are dealing with local problems). since its inception. Jackson and Bradford’s work.Public Trust and Confidence in the Police. the police. critics have argued that centralized performance frameworks prompted a disproportionate focus on measurable targets for reducing volume crimes (such as burglary) and increasing overall numbers of detections. but with a broader focus on confidence as ‘institutional trust’ (see Jackson and Bradford. 2011 . We will argue for the continued measurement of public confidence in the police. there are fundamental problems with these ‘single indicator’ questions: problems which were accentuated in the case of the PSA23 target.oxfordjournals. or the wider question of whether ‘single indicators’ are the most useful tools for performance measurement. who more often experience low-level incidents of ASB (see. policy makers. Despite the widespread concerns. Questionnaire design texts advise against using such ‘double-barrelled’ questions (Oppenheim. 2010). In technical terms. despite their apparent success in broadly capturing underlying attitudinal traits. Jackson and Bradford (2010) presented compelling empirical evidence. Loveday 2006. 2010). Importantly. 2008. and practitioners about the potential perverse impact of performance indicators. did not address the issue of the way the PSA23 question was used as performance target. 2008). that for survey respondents the PSA23 question tapped into similar underlying attitudes as the more established measure of confidence. perceptions of police fairness and community engagement were associated with responses to both the questions. based on the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Public Attitudes Survey. many police forces have begun to question the value of measuring public attitudes as indicators of performance. Police Performance Indicators Article Policing 115 just one aspect: responsiveness to local issues. ASB. In terms of scope. In England and Wales. 2008). This question was used as a single indictor proxy for public confidence in previous police performance frameworks. One of the first acts of the new UK Home Secretary was to abolish the PSA23 target and a requirement that forces undertake local public attitudes surveys. With public services facing a period of severe financial austerity in the UK. and despite the stated intention for a measure focusing on local policing activity. answers to the PSA23 question seemed to relate strongly to more general opinions of the police. Some commentators have also questioned the utility of attempting to measure confidence as an end in itself (Fitzgerald.

Jackson and Bradford (2010. Though there appeared to be some degree of overlap between the respective ‘mid-point’ responses. This finding. though. have allowed for the provision of overall opinions of the police. another interesting pattern was apparent. 247) concluded that single indicator measures can ‘act as useful methodological tools that condense a wide range of opinions into an easily digestible nugget’. and  they felt that the police were performing well but the council were not (or vice-versa). and gave a neutral response to the question for one or more of the following reasons:  they lived in an area where there was little or no crime or ASB. either positive or negative. The advantages of this approach to policy makers and practitioners are obvious. 244) found that ‘the PSA23 measure generates public evaluations of the police that are similar to those produced by the classic “are the local police doing a good job?” survey question’. Simple frequency distributions showed that. p. Despite these problems. Their analysis was concerned with how well answers to 1 the PSA23 question ‘fitted’ (or scaled) with other questions about attitudes to the police that did not share its complexity. however. tells only half the story. and so on.. 2011) suggested that some people found it difficult to form an opinion. Even though the PSA23 question may. This type of variation can have Downloaded from http://policing. One explanation for this finding might be that. despite its at Keele University on November 7. There must always be a concern. Initial criticism centred upon the question’s length and cognitive complexity.oxfordjournals. 2011 Likert scales are response options to attitude statement questions. Such a concern was particularly cogent in relation to the PSA23 measure. when the five response options were collapsed to ‘three’—positive/neutral/negative—a greater proportion of respondents gave negative responses to the PSA23 question than to the older ‘how good a job’ question (it should perhaps be noted that ‘fair’ is a less clear-cut ‘neutral’ response than ‘neither agree nor disagree’. . the way it was operationalized as a performance indicator created another set of problems. perhaps as a result of one or more of the three factors above. When responses to the two questions were cross-tabulated. many respondents understood the general thrust of the question and answered accordingly.116 Policing Article A. Interrogation of data from the 2008/09 BCS revealed some interesting patterns in relation to this practice. for many respondents.  they had had both positive and negative recent experiences of the police and/or local council. Myhill et al. mention of the local council. almost half (48%) of people that said ‘neither agree nor disagree’ to the PSA23 question also said that they thought the police in their local area did an ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ job. people who spent time trying to ‘deconstruct’ and cognitively process the question often found it more difficult to answer. Also. Responses range from (for example) ‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree’ and may or may not have a ‘neutral’ mid-point. questions with five-point response scales have generally been collapsed to a binary format: the two positive responses versus the neutral and negative responses. For the purpose of performance targets in England and Wales. p. Results from focus groups commissioned by the Home Office after the setting of the target (Charlton et al. that attempting to measure complex underlying attitude traits with (typically) five Likert-type1 response options risks misrepresentation of those attitudes in some cases. Deconstructing ‘single indicator’ measures of public confidence Jackson and Bradford (2010. reflecting the unipolar nature of the response scale for the ‘how good a job’ question). They concluded that the PSA23 question did tap meaningfully into underlying opinions of the police: it was not overly ‘contaminated’ by its length.

The PSA23 question may have been successful in its aim of focusing respondents on the specific responses of the police and local council to neighbourhood problems.898 19.784 9. To this end. Devon and .277 2.436 Poor 1 3 8 21 29 3. crucially. the UK Home Office mandated that police forces ask the PSA23 question in quarterly surveys at Community Safety Partnership (CSP) level (CSPs bring together several agencies. the ‘how good a job’ question may have been more likely to act as a measure of confidence as ‘institutional trust’. Public confidence in the police in Devon and Cornwall In 2009. including the police and local councils.029 12. the ‘how good a job’ question might be regarded as a more accurate single indicator proxy for wider public confidence in the police.309 at Keele University on November 7. Source: 2008/09 British Crime Survey.Public Trust and Confidence in the Police. This raises the possibility that the way in which the PSA23 question was interpreted by respondents.586 44.897 Unweighted data.131 12.oxfordjournals. it is possible that they were interpreted somewhat differently by at least some respondents.833 Very poor N 2.399 <1 <1 2 5 23 1.784 7. and. By contrast.436 Fair 26 43 45 15. the way in which survey findings were subsequently reported. in that people with no direct experience of the police were more likely to say they thought the police did a fair or good job based on their underlying sense of support for the institution. may have created a misleading impression of underlying trust and confidence in the police.528 Fair 12 28 43 49 33 15. This focus is one plausible explanation for the higher proportion of ‘negative’ responses: people are considering a specific aspect of police performance for which some feel they have the knowledge to base an opinion.233 Poor or very poor 4 9 32 5. Some supporting evidence for this suggestion can be found in the experiences of a particular police force. 2011 Excellent or good Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree N 71 48 23 23. Police Performance Indicators Article Policing 117 Table 1: Cross-tabulation of responses to the PSA23 and ‘how good a job’ measures of public confidence in the police Percentages Excellent PSA23 Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree N 33 9 4 2 2 3. The ‘how good a job’ question may also have allowed respondents to ‘offset’ negative perceptions of their local area with positive feelings towards the police in some other regard: the PSA23 question may have shut down this option to some extent.066 Downloaded from http://policing. significant implications when questions are collapsed into two categories for use as targets. Though responses to the two questions shown in Table 1 may have been affected by factors intrinsic to the survey (such as the order in which they were asked).369 How good a job do you think the police in this area are doing? Good 53 59 44 24 13 20. in order to address crime and ASB in specific areas).399 N 22.

the pattern was accentuated: over half (55%) of respondents that answered ‘neither agree nor disagree’ to the PSA23 question also said that they thought the police in their area did an ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ job. and the numerous possible technical explanations for the apparent decline. . Interestingly. In terms of the neutral responses. coupled with the fact that over half of those who gave neutral responses to the PSA23 question actually gave positive ratings of the police by the more established measure. Although it is not possible to say for certain with cross-sectional data. the force became subject to intense interest from the Home Office and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to ensure action was taken to improve its performance. Devon and Cornwall were the only force in England and Wales to see a statistically significant decrease in the proportion of respondents ‘agreeing’ with the PSA23 question. A random survey of the public is carried out by telephone with residents of Devon. Notwithstanding the fact that there were only two year-on-year data points. the salience of the PSA23 target for policing meant that there was concern within the force about a decline in the indicator and how this might be perceived as a decline in wider public confidence. Each year 6.118 Policing Article A. The BCS contained a free text follow-up to the PSA23 question asking respondents who disagreed to specify the issues that they felt were not being dealt with. Source: 2008/09 British Crime Survey. the proportion of people disagreeing with the question remained constant (at around 18%). from a baseline of 53% in the year to September 2008 to 47% in the year to September 2009. Devon and Cornwall asked an open-ended question (‘Why do you say that?’) to all those who answered the PSA23 question. Downloaded from http://policing. This trend. Further support for this conclusion can be found using data from the force’s own local confidence survey. despite the apparent ‘worsening’ of its performance. as measured by the BCS.600 surveys are completed (600 per CSP area).org/ at Keele University on November 7. According to the BCS. having come up on the ‘performance radar’. Table 2: Cross-tabulation of responses to the PSA23 and ‘how good a job’ measures of public confidence in the police in Devon and Cornwall Percentages How good a job do you think the police in this area are doing? Excellent or good PSA23 Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree N 76 55 25 596 Fair 22 40 47 311 Poor or very poor 2 5 29 75 N 512 307 163 982 Unweighted data. Myhill et al. This finding is very important. Devon and Cornwall has seen a rise of 10 percentage points between 2005/06 and 2009/10 for the ‘how good a job’ measure. and the Isles of Scilly who are aged 16 years or over. suggested it would be misleading to present the six percentage point decrease in the PSA23 measure as evidence of declining public trust and confidence in Devon and Cornwall Police. Cornwall. Moreover. it would appear that the ‘movement’ of responses was from the ‘agree’ options to the neutral response option. Analysis of BCS data for Devon and Cornwall revealed a similar pattern to aggregated national data in respect of how responses to the PSA23 and ‘how good a job’ questions related to each other (Table 2). 2011 Cornwall Police are one of the few forces in England and Wales that undertake public attitudes surveys ‘in-house’.oxfordjournals.

consequently. Almost two-thirds of respondents cited issues or incidents not being dealt with or a poor response from the police or council as their reason for disagreeing. The Devon and Cornwall question was completely open-ended. P = 0. Analysis of the open-ended question in the BCS (asked only to those who disagreed with the PSA23 question) suggested that these issues were largely related to ASB (Myhill et al. their responses generally indicated that they lived in quiet areas where there was little or no crime or ASB. The second model added respondents’ perceptions of local ASB and an interaction effect between area type and perceptions of ASB. The geographical context of Devon and Cornwall may have been a factor in the apparent incongruity between responses to the PSA23 and ‘how good a job’ questions.Public Trust and Confidence in the Police. the proportion of ‘don’t know’ responses can be much higher. ‘Don’t know’ responses are routinely excluded from BCS analysis when they total less than 5%.763. Descriptive analysis of the BCS data for the force suggested a greater propensity for people living in rural areas to give a neutral response to the PSA23 question (Table 3). Forces were mandated to explicitly offer a ‘don’t know’ response option in their local confidence surveys. what they had heard in the media. 2010). asked respondents specifically for the ‘issues’ that they felt were not being dealt with. Source: 2008/09 British Crime Survey. Though some respondents 2 spontaneously cited issues to do with the local council or agencies working in partnership. The first contained only one explanatory variable: the type of area (urban or rural) in which people lived. 2011 Responses were analysed for the period from October 2009 to February 2010. In other words. Responses to the open-ended question also lent support to the suggestion that the PSA23 question did largely succeed in focusing people on agencies’ responses to local issues. or wider issues around the CJS and punishment. The BCS question.. This model suggested that ideas about ASB were an important mediating factor influencing the formulation of answers to the Less than 5% of respondents say ‘don’t know’ to both the PSA23 and ‘how good a job’ questions in the BCS as the option does not appear on ‘show cards’ and interviewers are instructed to only accept a ‘don’t know’ response as a last resort. P = 0. Police Performance Indicators Article Policing 119 Table 3: Responses of people in urban and rural areas of Devon and Cornwall Percentages PSA23 Agree Neutral Disagree N Urban 53 29 18 634 Pearson 2 = 10. though. Around a third of the people who answered ‘neither agree nor disagree’ (34%) or ‘don’t know’2 (35%) cited lack of personal experience or knowledge of the issues as the reason for their response. no other single reason accounted for more than 3% of responses. 15% of people cited lack of police visibility as their principal reason for disagreeing with the PSA23 question. We examined this relationship in more detail by estimating two multinomial logistic regression models predicting answers to the PSA23 question among BCS respondents living in Devon and Cornwall (see Appendix Table A1).org/ at Keele University on November 7.756. it is highly likely that a large proportion of people who answer ‘don’t know’ in force surveys would answer ‘neither agree nor disagree’ in the BCS. allowing other factors to emerge. This model replicated the findings presented in Table 3 in that those who lived in rural areas had greater odds of answering ‘neither agree nor disagree’. Though it is not possible to be sure. for example. .oxfordjournals.685 Unweighted data.005 Rural 49 38 13 366 ‘How good a job’ Urban Rural 60 31 9 360 Excellent or good 61 Fair 31 Poor or very poor 7 N 633 Pearson 2 = 0. Downloaded from http://policing.

Downloaded from http://policing. those living in urban areas were much more likely to agree that local issues were being addressed if they saw low levels of ASB. our model predicted that nearly half (47%) of respondents in rural areas who perceived no ASB problems in their local area would answer ‘neither agree nor disagree’ to the PSA23 question (compared with just 14% of urban-dwellers). The argument we have tried to make is that. the present analysis shows that single indicators can potentially misrepresent the attitudes of some survey respondents. Finally. Also. But this effect was much less strong among those living in rural areas at Keele University on November 7. they can be overridden by other factors for others in terms of confidence judgements. not surprisingly. do tap into respondents’ feelings of institutional trust to some degree. So. and interpretation. Further to this. Single indicator measures of public confidence in the police are popular with policy makers and practitioners due to the relative ease of data collection. those living in rural areas perceived lower levels of ASB than their urban counterparts. There was no significant disparity between the proportions of people in rural and urban areas giving a mid-point response to the ‘how good a job’ question. reporting. There could be several explanations for this finding. comparing responses to the different questions is again illuminating. despite the relative success of these questions in measuring wider confidence. 245–246). is that the contact may not necessarily have been in the respondent’s local area (and the PSA23 and ‘how good a job’ questions both ask specifically about local police). when using BCS data. other analysis (Myhill and Bradford. 2011 Conclusions Our reading of Jackson and Bradford (2010) is that their analysis showed that the PSA23 and ‘how good a job’ questions. This finding lends further support to the suggestion that the ‘how good a job’ question operates as a better proxy for institutional trust and confidence: respondents who had little on which to base their opinion were more likely to give a positive response to the ‘how good a job’ question than they were to the PSA23 question. Though such measures can act as proxies for underlying attitudinal traits (especially those relating to police fairness and perceptions of community engagement). our analysis shows that. in fact. We did look at the possibility of cross tabulating responses by whether or not a person had had prior contact with the police. it appears that this lead to the relatively high proportion of Devon and Cornwall respondents answering ‘neither agree nor disagree’ to the PSA23 question. question: rural dwellers were more likely than urban dwellers to answer ‘neither agree nor disagree’ if they perceived low levels of ASB. some people may feel that a contact experience with the police (especially if it was not in the local area) still does not qualify them to make a judgement about how the police are performing their role more generally.120 Policing Article A. despite being fairly instrumental in nature.oxfordjournals. submitted) shows that while direct contact experiences are important for some people. There was no pattern apparent in the BCS data: more or less the same proportion of people answered ‘neither agree nor disagree’ whether they had had contact with the police in the last 12 months or not. procedural fairness and perceptions of community engagement are statistically associated with responses to both questions (p. if the questions are fairly ‘instrumental’ in nature—in . specific technical problems are apparent when they are collapsed for use as performance indicators. Perhaps. single indicator proxies will always be crude and do not measure confidence as institutional trust as well as a summated scale would. In line with what was presumably the intention of the PSA23 measure. We used BCS data to explore whether contact influenced propensity to give a neutral response to the PSA23 question (the Devon and Cornwall data were incomplete in respect of people who had actually had contact with the police). Myhill et al. analysis. In particular. One key factor. despite this.

although single indicator measures can summarize global attitudes to an extent. Essentially. to develop an index of questions on public confidence in the police was presented to the ACPO Excellence in Policing conference in scales or indices).4 Such developments are a positive step. Six questions that focus on perceptions of police responsiveness and engagement. 2011 3 Full results from descriptive analysis of these questions are available from the lead author.. global rating of confidence’ as they are ‘high in some measures of confidence and low in others’ (Stone et al. in conjunction with Surrey police.homeoffice. 46). at a minimum. suggesting that it too may be interpreted as an instrumental assessment of police effectiveness by many respondents. ‘values’-based justice over that based on police effectiveness and deterrence. encouraging people to co-operate with the police and comply with the law by treating them fairly and respectfully looks to be a cost-effective Downloaded from http://policing. which are constructed from multiple questions and include both instrumental and normative assessments of the police. more than one-third (35%) of respondents in 2008/09 gave the ‘mid-point’ response to the ‘how good a job’ question. Police Performance Indicators Article Policing 121 that they ask people how well the police are performing (specific aspects of) their role—some people may be inclined to give neutral responses if they feel they do not have adequate personal experience on which to form an opinion. as well as more normative treatment of local people. they will always be somewhat crude and reductive. and other forces have experimented with a similar. . 4 A summary of work undertaken by Malcolm Hibberd. qualitative question development work has highlighted that some survey respondents struggle to ‘arrive at a single. The MPS currently uses aggregate indices of public opinion in its internal performance management systems (Stanko and Bradford. 2009). provide a more nuanced and accurate assessment of public trust in the police. A limited breakdown of responses can be found at http://rds. The BCS already contains a battery of questions that capture fairly well the normative aspects of confidence: procedural fairness and community engagement. Tellingly. The net result.Public Trust and Confidence in the Police. The BCS contains a battery of ‘key diagnostic indicators’ that were intended to inform the ‘how good a job’ measure of public confidence in the police. it appears that the ‘how good a job’ question is slightly more useful for measuring trust and confidence in the wider sense. may be an underestimation of the true level of public trust in the police as an institution. are followed by a seventh that asks people whether ‘taking everything into account’ they have confidence in their local police. Of the two BCS questions that have been used as single indictor proxies for public confidence in the police. p. p. when such questions are used to construct dichotomous target measures. a higher level of agreement (67%) and proportionately fewer mid-point or ‘neutral’ responses (16%) than either the PSA23 or ‘how good a job’ questions. though. are more difficult to operationalize and explain to frontline practitioners. These existing indices. However. 2005. this confidence-specific question had. Aggregated measures (i. Such What is the best way to measure trust and confidence? Notwithstanding the problems associated with the instrumental nature of some single indicator questions.pdf.oxfordjournals. Jackson and Bradford (2010) have shown that. To this end. 2010. 298). The work of Tom Tyler highlights the potential advantages of normative. do not move beyond a conceptualization of confidence as ‘an end in itself’ (Fitzgerald. in 2008/09. independently developed confidence at Keele University on November 7. though. ‘overall’ trust and confidence in the police comprises instrumental assessments of police effectiveness and more normative assessments of police fairness and willingness to engage (with the latter more strongly associated with global measures of confidence).

but more practical measures of public intent to co-operate with the police in range of contexts and ways. the concept of legitimacy—through which trust and confidence are channelled to produce the outcomes of co-operation and compliance—has been measured empirically in the US (Sunshine and Tyler. by their actions. providing information and intelligence. 2010) that primary survey ‘outcome’ measures should not be generic. in forces moving away from conducting public attitudes surveys. with indicators that ‘attempt to capture what is important to people living in individual police force areas’. The surveys might also attempt to measure the legitimacy of the police in concrete terms (rather Downloaded from http://policing. These would need to be supplemented with ‘diagnostic’ questions that focus on the quality and procedural fairness of encounters between the police and the public and wider public perceptions of community engagement and whether the police are responsive to local issues (motive-based trust). Tyler. Although it is clear that the Coalition Government does not favour centralized performance frameworks. 2010). Myhill et al. 2008) and. The future of performance measurement in England and Wales Police performance measurement in England and Wales is in a state of transition. Such surveys would be less about tracking changes in performance over time. Bradford and Jackson (2010. particularly those seeking re-election. however. more recently. are able to foster informal social control. approach to crime control when set against a system premised on increasing the instrumental threat of detection and punishment. We support the suggestion (Fitzgerald. Tyler (2009) argues that accurate and periodic measurement of concepts like police legitimacy are essential. but would be focused on understanding the wider effects of the police on the public and the extent to which the police. and it is generally acknowledged that the police are less effective in controlling crime if they do not have the confidence of the public in terms of reporting. To this end. p. 2010).. 2006. Previous experience has shown that a narrow focus on crime and detections can erode the motive-based trust that comes from addressing the concerns of local at Keele University on November 7. it is less clear what role performance measurement might play at a more local level. as these are routinely collected and can be made available more frequently. Logical outcome indices might comprise questions concerning public intentions to co-operate with the police by engaging in local problem-solving activity.oxfordjournals. receive a crime number for insurance purposes). Tyler and Fagan. are likely to want some empirical yardstick of their performance. and reporting crime (the number of crimes reported by victims could act as a more objective measure of co-operation. and acting as witnesses (Fitzgerald. The major threat to this occurring is finance: Commissioners may feel that spending money on public attitudes surveys at a time of severe budgetary restraint for the police service is simply not justifiable. Police and Crime Commissioners. The discontinuation of public attitudes surveys would create a performance measurement vacuum that is almost certain to be filled by data on crime and detections. 2003. Indeed. forces might be encouraged to retain their local attitudes surveys and undertake a radical overhaul of their content to include variables that measure the ‘outcomes’ of trust and confidence. In order to promote and maintain a more normative approach to criminal justice. 242) propose that localized performance frameworks are likely to emerge under the new Police and Crime Commissioners. There is a significant risk. or of necessity to. though it would be problematic in terms of knowing whether reporting was borne of a desire to help the police. in a UK context (Hough et al. providing information and intelligence.122 Policing Article A. 2011 . for example. which promotes shared social values. single indicator measures of ‘confidence’.

’ Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice 4(3): 241–248. A. Why People Obey the Law. ‘What is Trust and Confidence in the Police?. Jackson... 2010). ‘Legitimacy and Cooperation: Why do People Help the Police Fight Crime in their Communities?.oxfordjournals. ‘Performance Management and the Decline of Leadership within Public Services in the United Kingdom. Bradford. and Tyler. A. (2009). Farrall. (2008). Downloaded from http://policing.’ Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice 4(3): 203–210. 13 November 2008. S. After a period where confidence has been afforded a high profile. and Fitzpatrick. Fitzgerald. R.’ Policing and Society 19(1): 20–46. and Stanko.’ Law and Society Review 37(3): 513–548. (2009). Myhill. Agulnik.’ Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice 3(4): 322–330. (2009). (2008). S. and Bradford. Interviewing and Attitude Measurement. T. and Quinton. Myhill. P. ‘Beyond Measuring “How Good a Job” Police are Doing: The MPS Model of Confidence in Policing. J. Sunshine.’ Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 7(1): 307–359. London: Continuum. (1992). Jackson.’ Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice 4(3): 298–301. T. E. Questionnaire Design. Stanko. (2006). Tyler. Measuring Public Confidence in the Police.. Newcastle University. Measuring Confidence in the Police: Lessons from Research into Survey Question Design. London: Home Office. and Bradford. B. ‘Policing Performance: The Impact of Performance Measures and Targets on Police Forces in England and Wales. The ‘Single Top-Down Target’—What Are The Issues The Public Think Are Not Being Dealt With? London: NPIA. J. (2010). A. (2005). Exploring Public Confidence in the Police and Local Councils in Tackling Crime and Anti-social Behaviour. B. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Oppenheim. (2010). ‘Contact and Confidence: Revisiting the Impact of Public Encounters with the Police. B. Charlton. P. problem-solving. The Review of Policing: Final Report. A. D. (2010). A. The research evidence suggests that this is not a cost-effective approach and that it may ultimately be detrimental to the fight against crime. Loveday.’ International Journal of Police Science and Management 8(4): 282–293. Relevant questions might cover whether the public feel that the police share and represent the values of their community. (2003). J. and good interpersonal treatment of members of the public. (2010). References Bradford.’ Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 6: 231–275. Loveday. J. ‘The Role of Procedural Justice and Legitimacy in Shaping Public Support for Policing.. and Fagan. Policing in England and Wales is once again at crossroads. Presentation to the Rethinking Confidence in the Criminal Justice System Conference.Public Trust and Confidence in the Police. Flanagan.. ‘A Confidence Trick?. Tyler.. Stone. (2008). London: Home Office. M. T. J. it would be easy for forces to ‘revert to type’ and adopt a more traditional crime control focus. Hough. B. Jackson. M. ‘Legitimacy and Criminal Justice: The Benefits of Self-Regulation. London: BMRB. Trust and Institutional Legitimacy.. Morton. The NPIA recently fielded a survey which included such measures (see Hough et al. Fildes. and these could easily be tailored and adopted by individual forces. (2011). 2011 . and Quinton. (2006). (2008). Grant. which prioritizes chasing detections over community engagement.. Tyler. ‘Procedural Justice. B.’ Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice 2(1): 120–130. V. E. Police Performance Indicators Article Policing 123 than just assume trust and confidence is in some sense coterminous with legitimacy). at Keele University on November 7.. C. T. and Ipsos MORI. B.

23 0.83 À0.07 À1. Source: 2008/09 British Crime Survey.23 À0.50 0.01 À0. Myhill et al.48 0.27 0.16 À0.07 0.92 0.43 À1.39 0.01 0.oxfordjournals.89 À1.14 0.22 at Keele University on November 7.29 0.20 0.24 0.09 0.16 0.21 0.96 0.00 À0.07 Downloaded from http://policing.62 À1.02 À0.36 À0.59 1.04 0.15 0.68 Unweighted data (N = 962).03 0.82 À0.01 À0.07 0.32 0.07 0.52 À0.00 0.46 0. 2011 À0.29 0.17 0.48 0.13 À0.41 0.00 0.25 À0.35 À0.57 À0.23 0.14 À0.02 0.00 0.33 À0.87 0.25 0.06 0.20 0. .48 À0.01 À0.65 0.61 À0. Appendix Table A1: Multinomial logistic regression models predicting answers to the PSA23 measure for BCS respondents in Devon and Cornwall B Model 1 Neither agree nor disagree Age Sex (female = 1) Rural area Constant Disagree Age Sex (female = 1) Rural area Constant Model 2 Neither agree nor disagree Age Sex (female = 1) Rural area Perception of ASB (high scores = more) Interaction: rural area  perceptions of ASB Constant Disagree Age Sex (female = 1) Rural area Perception of ASB (high scores = more) Interaction: rural area  perceptions of ASB Constant P 95% CI À0.58 À0.00 0.00 0.01 À0.73 À0. reference category is ‘agree’.32 0.09 À0.124 Policing Article A.13 0.02 À0.01 0.01 À0.18 0.07 À0.00 À0.49 0.01 À0.