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An investigation into the general public’s attitudes towards the police in Greater Manchester

Watterson, Donna (2011) An investigation into the general public’s attitudes towards the police in Greater Manchester. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The current research investigated public attitudes towards the police using a questionnaire given to 100 participants recruited from Greater Manchester. The participants were recruited using an opportunity sampling technique and were of a mix of genders and from a range of ages. The research aimed to find out if there were differences in attitudes towards the police between a variety of variables which were gender, age, victimisation and contact with the police. The questionnaire, designed in the style of a 5 point Likert scale, combined relevant items from 3 existing questionnaires relating to confidence in the police, personal characteristics of the police and perceived police fairness. Scores on the questionnaires were analysed using the computer program SPSS to discover any trends among the participants. A 2x3 ANOVA found a significant effect of gender and age on confidence in the police. Males and younger participants had significantly lower confidence in the police than females and older participants. Four independent t-tests concluded that contact with the police and having been a victim of crime did not significantly affect confidence. A discussion of the findings concludes that two out of the four hypotheses were significantly proven, and ideas for future research are proposed.

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