SourceJournal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 10, 6, (2000), pp. 433-448
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OE
Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology
SubjectLearning in changing contexts
The purpose of this study was to build a model for the public image and visibility of the police. These variables were seen as central to successful community policing. Explanatory variables included were contacts with the police, victimisation and background characteristics of the respondents. Questionnaire data were obtained from a sample of 3271 adults (mean age 42) and 986 youngsters (mean age 15.5) in two Finnish cities. Using multi-sample structural equation modelling, a four-factor model with two image factors (Friendliness and Closeness) and two visibility factors (Patrol-Car-Related and Police-on-Foot Activities) was confirmed by the data. As hypothesised, for both adults and youngsters, seeing police-on-foot activities was positively correlated with both image factors, while seeing Patrol-Car-Related Activities was negatively correlated with police image. Relationships of explanatory variables with image factors were to a large extent but not completely mediated by the visibility factors. Some differences were found between adults and youngsters in factor means and in regression relationships. Quality of police visibility proved to be an important factor from the point of view of community policing, in which one of the main purposes is to improve the relationship between the police and the public.
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- Academic publications 
- Faculty of Social Sciences 
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