The purpose of this paper is to examine citizens’ perception of police in India, particularly the authors examine the factors influencing citizen satisfaction with the police in India.
Using survey data collected from the residents in a neighborhood of the capital city and from the passengers on a 41-hour-1,281 miles journey traveling from the northern part to the southern part of the country and return via Indian Railways, this study empirically analyzed citizens’ perceptions of police and factors that accounted for the variation in Indian citizens’ assessment of police. Consistent with the literature, this study integrates a broader range of explanatory variables to explain citizens’ perceptions toward police, including demographic characteristics, views about professionalism in police, police performance, fairness, police corruption, and citizens’ perceptions about their safety in their neighborhood.
Older citizens reported higher satisfaction with the police. Among the contextual characteristics, the authors find a positive relationship between perceived police performance, fairness, professionalism, and citizen satisfaction with police. As expected, perceived police deviance is associated with lower citizen satisfaction with police.
Findings of the study provide Indian police administrators with important references and directions to improve police performance and move to increase citizen satisfaction about police. It also adds to the limited literature on citizens’ perceptions of the police in India.
This study is an attempt to systematically assess the citizens’ perception of police in India. The researchers believe that this as an original contribution in the body of criminal justice research, particularly to the scholarship on policing in India. Moreover, the examination of citizens’ satisfaction of police highlights their detailed views about professionalism of police, police performance, corruption, fairness and their perceptions about the safety in their neighborhood.
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