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The Influence of Police Actions on Victim Satisfaction in Burglary Investigations

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This paper is concerned with the satisfaction of burglary victims with the service provided by the U.K. police. The study, funded by the U.K. Home Office's Police Research Group, was conducted in the West Midlands and considers the role of police actions, victims' characteristics, and victims' perceptions in shaping victim satisfaction. Victim satisfaction, which was lower than in a number of previous studies, depended on how well police actions and outcomes of cases met victims' expectations. Satisfaction was dependent to a great extent on the manner of the first officer to reach the burglary scene, and also on keeping victims informed about the outcome of investigations, activities which the force can readily address. Improved detection rates and better property recovery would also boost satisfaction, but these are influenced in part by factors both under police control, and are less likely to be easily achieved. Methodologically, the study demonstrates the importance of relating police records to victims' expressed satisfaction, and their perceptions of police actions when framing policies aimed at meeting victims' preferences.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Man. & Mech. Eng, University of Birmingham, U.K.

Publication date: December 1, 1999

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