An evaluation of the effectiveness of independent advisory groups in promoting trust and confidence in policing amongst minority groups, in the period after the publication of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry report

Slemensek, Mike (2010) An evaluation of the effectiveness of independent advisory groups in promoting trust and confidence in policing amongst minority groups, in the period after the publication of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry report. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    The focus of this research is to assess the effectiveness of Independent Advisory Groups (IAGs) in promoting trust and confidence in policing amongst minority ethnic groups. IAGs are widely used amongst the police. In 2007 an IAG conference welcomed representatives from 43 police forces (Finnigan, 2007, p. 6). It is therefore important to know what is being delivered from this working relationship and what can be improved to help police forces provide better quality policing through IAG consultation. The recommendations arising from this study may well be of interest to police forces, who will be keen to benefit fully from their IAG working arrangements. The recent Government announcements regarding public sector efficiencies and savings, and in particular the anticipated outcome of the proposed Comprehensive Spending Review, (Lane, 2010) will require police forces to reconsider all aspects of service provision to achieve efficiencies and savings. An on-line questionnaire was used to obtain the opinions of a sample of IAG members within the Wales, South West and Midlands region. The researcher, who is a police officer and IAG liaison officer, designed the questionnaire to elicit information and views relating to five specific research objectives. Replies were received from 59 IAG members from 9 forces in England and Wales. It has not been possible to reach any firm conclusions about whether the trust and confidence of minority ethnic communities has tangibly improved as a result of IAG work. It was found that trust and confidence amongst IAG members themselves has improved as a result of their work with the police – the main reason for this being the achievement of trust through a closer working relationship and a better understanding of what the police do. However, there are some elements of doubt within IAGs about the sincerity and real commitment of the police to IAG working. This study suggests that IAGs and police forces can do a lot more to promote their joint work amongst the public including minority ethnic communities. There is also a risk that the working relationship may be undermined, to the ultimate detriment of the public, if IAG members perceive they are not being taken seriously by their police forces. Police engagement with IAGs seems to be conducted ‘behind closed doors’ with relatively few people, whether members of the police force or citizens, actually knowing that it takes place. In making recommendations for future IAG working, the author of this study has created the term ‘engagement amplification’ and has suggested that specific techniques should be employed by the police to promote and magnify the dialogue with IAGs throughout communities, in order to secure maximum value from it. Recommendations have also been made in relation to establishing improved frameworks for consultation with IAGs.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:49
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:16
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/963

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