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Criminology Case Essay Sample

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Criminology Case Essay Sample


            The perception of the public regarding the police had taken a turn towards the negative side.  As compared to the notion that the authorities provide protection to the population the public perception is continuously decreasing due to different reasons.  The view of the public is based on the results that they perceived due to personal experiences or different information sources.

These experiences with the police and the judicial systems are compared to the expectations based on the known roles of the police.  Commonly people perceive the law enforcement as the sector in the society that fights crime and protect people through the law, thus, in the times of increasing trends in crimes, the authorities are often the target of criticism.

Perception of the population regarding the performance of the police force

            Studies have shown a significant decline in the trust of the public over the protection that the police force can offer.  There are certain factors that affect such perception.  In a survey regarding the public opinions on the accomplishments and the actions of the police department against crime in Australia, certain notions came into view.  The respect of the population regarding the duties and accomplishments of the group was considered (Swanton et al. 1988).

The cases of inaptness in the behavior of the police force are the main reason for study and researches on the points of view of the population.  In Australia results of the query on law enforcement agencies was generally higher than half of the respondents (South Australia – 66.6%, Victoria – 63.4% and Western Australia – 60.3%).  The remaining part of the population are either unsure of their opinions or do not think that the police force is deserving of the trust.

Although it can be considered that a larger group respects the police, results of the survey conducted in a considerable time difference is lower than the former trend observed through similar objectives.  Another issue discussed in the study is the contentment of the public on the actions and projects of the police and law enforcers.  Generally, a larger part of the population is satisfied with the performance of the police which comprise more than 60 percent of the respondents.  The remaining parts of the population articulated dissatisfaction based on crimes such as robbery and other common crimes that are not given objective solutions (Swanton et al. 1988).

Results of the research studies showed the views of the population on the basis of their satisfaction and trust on the police mainly.  This is due to certain factors that occur in the community such as the prevalence of crimes and the solutions offered by the law enforcers to solve such problems (Ho and McKean 2004).

Reasons for Differences in Perception of the Police

            The perception of the public is divided when it comes to the effectiveness of the actions undertaken by the police to solve crimes and to perform criminal justice.  Some may approve of the accomplishment of the sector while others express criticisms regarding the performance of the sector.  The effectiveness is measured by the attainment of the peace and order in the society.

            Focusing on the factors perceived to be the reasons for the faith of the public, it can be noted based on research analyses that some of the most significant concepts in this view are the occurrence of the crime and the possibility and apprehension of being a victim of crime.  Another important consideration is the security and protection that can be perceived in the community (Ho and McKean 2004).

            Based on these factors the confidence and trust on the law enforcers may be increased or decreased.  In the trends that were observed in recent years, the confidence of the people is decreasing due to different issues.  The main reason perceived is the failure to provide methods to combat crimes and other offenses in the respective communities which serve as a basis in the opinion of the population.  Another reason is information dissemination regarding the achievements and the actions undertaken by the police.

When insufficient information is given to the population, the common result is the perception that no action is done to counteract the crimes and fulfill their jobs.  Lastly, the public tend to measure up the actions of law enforcers.  Thus, another cause of the decreasing trust is inappropriate actions that are undertaken to solve crimes and enforce law to the population such as the misconduct of police officers and improper use of arms (Swanton et al. 1988).

The misconduct that is done by law enforcers and police department in Australia is one reason of negative perceptions of the population.  The cases related to discrimination of ‘white-skinned’ members of the population toward the aborigines are common scenario in Australia, a country divided into two groups.  Due to the fact that the state establish the judicial system, conflicts involving the two groups often lead to the disadvantage of the minority group (Thomas, 2002).

Another group is the non-English speaking background (NESB) members of the population in Queensland.  Although these comprise a significant part of the population, they have perceptions of being given less attention the authorities due to their origin and background (Themal, 1995).  Based on such scenario minority and ethnic groups in Australia and other nations, groups have negative perceptions toward law enforcers due to rules created by the majority and enforced by the police to the nation which often go to their disadvantage.

Actions to Improve the Perception of the Public

Upon determination of possible reasons for negative perception of the population, actions needed to be undertaken to increase the trust and satisfaction of the community are important.   The information given to the people along with the relations and communication can be considered as the main factor that molds the perception of the public.  The police, then, needs to increase information dissemination and involvement of the people to the projects that are conducted (Segrave and Collins 2005).

  This serves as a primary effort to improve the perception of the population but the most important way is to maintain the honesty and avoid corruption in the police and law enforcement.  Another is the improvement in finding solutions to crimes and other offences, the main job of the sector.  Improving such performance can lead to the perceived social peace in the community (Swanton et al. 1988).

 Another action is through the establishment of outreach group for the needs of the community.  The Ethnic Advisory Group is one of the Police Service projects in Queensland to improve the opinion and view of the public and targets the different aspects of social security.  The goals are not limited to law enforcement but other facets such as the education and other aspects of the community (Themal, 1995).  These actions undertaken answer the possible reasons perceived on the negative view of the population towards the law enforcers.


            The concepts and ideas presented tackled the opinions and perceptions of the population.  The view of the population serves as a guide to achieve social order.  The contentment of the population can be considered as an achievement in itself.  Thus, the consideration and study of the opinion of the population can be considered as an essential element in the field of public service.

            The perception of the population affects the trust given to particular agency.  With the achievement of the public trust, the job of the police can be performed without any interference from the public.  The most essential result that can be achieved is the fact that the police needs to focus on the service to the public to improve the perception of the people.

Once this is achieved the main objective of the police force is achieved, the service of the people by enforcing the law.  This is important because the actions undertaken by the police force are directed to public.  It is in fact the main goal of the police to protect the people.  Thus, any actions and every other objective all transpire from the single notion and that is to be of service.


Christie, G.

1996                The Police Role: Studies of Male and Female Police (paper presented at the Australian Institute of Criminology Conference: First Australasian Women Police Conference).  Sydney: Australian Institute of Criminology.

Ho, T. and McKean, J.

  • Confidence in the Police. Western Criminology Review, 5(2), 108-118.

Segrave, M and L. Collins

2005                Evaluation of a suburban crime prevention team.  Technical and background paper series, no.14.  Australian Institute of Criminology.

Swanton, B., P. Wilson, J. Walker, and S. Mukherjee

1988                How the public see the police: an Australian survey – I.  No. 11 Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice.  Australian Institute of Criminology

Themal, U.

1995                Multiculturism and the Law.  Police and Ethnic Relations in Queensland.  Australian Institute of Criminology 1995.

Thomas, C.

2002                ‘Australian Aborigines’ to ‘White Australians’.  Australian Aboriginal Studies, 2001 (1), 21.

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