Crime and policing are key 'quality of life' issues. The relevant research literature has identified the widespread (if uneven) experience of crime victimisation and the detrimental quality of life effects this can have on people. Similarly, 'fear of crime' has been found to have a major negative influence on a range of social practices. Victimisation and fear of crime can both be approached from quite different foci, such as documenting the effects they have on quality of life, or alternatively, examining the extent to which the police, for instance, meet the concerns of citizens about these issues.
On the other hand, criminal justice agencies such as the police are negotiating (though not explicity) a move from a problematic reactive 'crime control' model of practice, to one which is oriented towards preventative practices. This latter model seeks to move beyond 'detached expertise' which defines issues, towards a model of practice that is responsive not simply to strict criminally liable action but also more generally to the quality of life issues that concern citizens. The Police Studies Area of the School of Social Inquiry is already participating in research that can make an important contribution to these issues.
We see many opportunities for collaborative research on 'quality of life', related to issues such as:
- shifts in local government responsibilities and practices
- community attitudes surveys
- police 'relations' (such as with social workers)
- effects of changing forms of management on agency practices (eg 'new managerialism and police practices)
- the effect of police practices (such a discriminatory or unfair practices eg young people)
Email Mr. Darren Palmer