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Myth and reality in rural policing: Perceptions of the police in a rural county of England

R.I. Mawby (Community Justice Research Centre, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 1 September 2004



In England and Wales, concern over policing often reflects a perception of a halcyon period, epitomised by community policing, when the police operated on a local level and were well known to the communities they policed. To some extent, images of rural policing are a modern‐day representation of this idyll, and studies certainly show that those living in rural areas hold more favourable views of the police than do their metropolitan counterparts. This paper, however, based on a postal survey in Cornwall, a rural county in England, demonstrates that rural dwellers are also critical of certain aspects of policing, particularly the inaccessibility of the police. It then considers differences between different subsections of the Cornish people. Taken together, the findings indicate that rural residents' concerns over public safety are accentuated by their concerns that the police in Cornwall are less accessible than those in urban areas and are less able to respond in an emergency. This has implications for policy.



Mawby, R.I. (2004), "Myth and reality in rural policing: Perceptions of the police in a rural county of England", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 431-446.



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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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