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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2021

Lisa Growette Bostaph, Laura L. King and Patrick Q. Brady

The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine if and how victim credibility affects investigative decision-making and case outcomes in domestic violence and sexual…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine if and how victim credibility affects investigative decision-making and case outcomes in domestic violence and sexual assault reports through the use of the US Department of Justice's Gender Bias Principles (GBPs).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a content analysis of 370 DVSA police reports from one agency in the western US. Multivariate regression models were estimated to examine the relationships among victim credibility and investigative activities, victim cooperation and case clearance.

Findings

Victim credibility significantly predicts specific investigative actions and case clearance, but not victim cooperation. Multiple aspects of DVSA investigations significantly impact victim cooperation as well as case clearance, regardless of victim credibility issues. The GBPs are an effective framework for disaggregating investigative activities and identifying specific areas for improvement in policing response to DVSA.

Research limitations/implications

Further study is needed to determine the temporal ordering of officer assessment of victim credibility and investigative activities, the stability of such assessments during investigations, and if credibility problems noted in police reports are valid indicators of myth acceptance among officers or represent a downstream orientation of information requested by prosecutors. Victim service referral as a part of policing response is vastly under-researched given referral's strong effects on victim cooperation and case clearance. Crime-specific differences exist in many cases, yet not in others, suggesting separate and combined DVSA analyses are warranted.

Practical implications

A more complex analysis of investigative actions offers a targeted approach to officer training and administrative rule-making that may be more efficient and effective than current generalized approaches.

Originality/value

The study is the first to empirically test the utility of the GBP framework, as well as individual aspects of DVSA investigations, and from a gender-based crime rather than crime-specific approach.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 April 2018

Tate Fegley and Lisa Growette Bostaph

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether the nature of policing services allows for economies of scale to be realized. It is also a replication of Southwick (2005).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether the nature of policing services allows for economies of scale to be realized. It is also a replication of Southwick (2005).

Design/methodology/approach

This study replicates the methodology used by Southwick (2005) to estimate police production and demand in order to determine whether there are economies of scale among police departments in a western state. Southwick’s (2005) method is unique in that it incorporates measures of market power to predict police efficiency. The present study is unique in that it involves data from a low-density, low-population western state.

Findings

Southwick’s results for New York State are markedly different from the results found for Idaho, thus questioning the external validity of Southwick’s model as applied to a relatively low-population state. The findings also indicate that, controlling for relevant variables, crime in Idaho is highly correlated with population, suggesting that police departments in low density/population states would not achieve efficiency gains through consolidation.

Research limitations/implications

The implications of this study include validating police performance measures and evaluating applicability of market power to police departments.

Practical implications

No evidence was found to support the contention that consolidation of police departments results in efficiency gains.

Originality/value

This is the first study of economies of scale in policing to use data from a low-density, low-population western state.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 March 2008

Lisa Growette Bostaph

This paper aims to explore the possible existence of the repeat phenomenon in police motor vehicle stops.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the possible existence of the repeat phenomenon in police motor vehicle stops.

Design/methodology/approach

The study involved a mid‐western police department. Data were collected from contact cards completed by police officers making motor vehicle stops between July 1, 2001 and December 31, 2001. Contact cards included information concerning the stop itself, driver, passengers, motor vehicle, and the officer making the stop. Individual identifiers of police officers allowed for an analysis of individual officer performance concerning motor vehicle stops. A Poisson process and logistic regression were used in the analysis.

Findings

Analyses revealed that motor vehicle stops are not randomly distributed across police officers and, in fact, a significant concentration of motor vehicle stops among few officers existed. Situational variables such as reason for the stop and time of the stop were significant predictors of high‐performing officers.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations of the results include an immeasurable bias due to officers' discretion in completing contact cards for every motor vehicle stop, lack of external validity due to the specific circumstances surrounding the data collection, and the ‘time window effect’. Future research should focus on neighborhood level data collection, ‘hot spots’ for motor vehicle stops, the existence of high‐performing (repeat) officers in field (pedestrian) stops, potential differences in racial disparity of motor vehicle stops across high‐ and low‐performing officers.

Practical implications

The results of this study may offer insights into personnel and deployment practices based on officer performance.

Originality/value

This study is one of few on officer performance that included individual identifiers of police officers. This unique aspect of the data allowed for the analysis of a little‐researched area: officer productivity in motor vehicle stops.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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