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Factors influencing public satisfaction with the local police: a study in Saskatoon, Canada

Hongming Cheng (Department of Sociology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada AND Edmond J. Safra Centre for Ethics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 16 November 2015

2345

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore determining factors that account for variation in public satisfaction with the local police in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Design/methodology/approach

An integrated method was used to gather the data for this study, including official survey data conducted by Insightrix, and interviews with citizens in Saskatoon.

Findings

This research found that demographic factors including age, race (in this study, Aboriginal status in particular), education, and income, perception of neighborhood safety, citizen-police interaction, and learning about crime from news media all have impact on public attitudes toward the police, to different degrees. The gap or distance between the police and the Aboriginal community was highlighted as a major factor.

Research limitations/implications

Further research should be done to compare statistical patterns in other same-level cities in Canada.

Practical implications

This paper indicates that Saskatoon Police Service in the future should provide a more structured avenue for citizen participation in establishing safe neighborhoods, more structured cultural sensitivity training, and create a wider channel through which community residents with various social backgrounds can demand some measure of accountability for police work in their area.

Originality/value

The paper is of value to law enforcement policy-makers and academic researchers with interest in policing and police-community relationship.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was partly supported by Saskatoon Police Service under the Independent Evaluation Research Fund. The author is also thankful to Siming Weng, University of Saskatchewan, Dr Wei Wang, Simon Fraser University, and Cherish Bear, University of Saskatchewan, for providing assistance with data collection, entry, and analysis for this study.

Citation

Cheng, H. (2015), "Factors influencing public satisfaction with the local police: a study in Saskatoon, Canada", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 38 No. 4, pp. 690-704. https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-11-2014-0125

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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