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Performance Measures - Community Policing

Community policing emphasizes problem solving, crime prevention and community restoration.  It expands the domain of police work and therefore demands a rethinking of  police organisations.   Its no longer enough to measure SLP’s crime-control capabilities.  We must now address crime control in addition to the expectations created by the community policing frameworks.  Community policing is full-service policing, embracing quite ambitious goals

·       Reducing crime and disorder

·       Calming fears about threats to public safety

·       Reducing the public’s alienation from the police

It is a way of more effectively delivering police service and has two major pillars:

(a)   Maximize problem solving

(b)   Develop partnerships between the police and the community

However, the overall effectiveness depends of the reinforcement between the community and the police and the collaboration that is achieved in terms of crime prevention initiatives. 

Planning, delivery, and evaluation of police services should be based upon a sound knowledge of customers’ needs and expectations.  Emphasis should be placed on solving community problems with the community not for the community.


Police processes involve what police do when they police for people


One very important challenge for the implementation of the community policing approach is to engage in a process to breakdown the artificial barriers between the police and the community and promote groups and individuals to empower and motivate themselves.  Community policing is hampered however, by the tools police currently use to measure crime and police performance. There is a gap between the current ways police organizations measure productivity and the kinds of help communities really want from their police.

Levels of fear and disorder, evidence of mounting community tension, and, most importantly, information about the specific sources of such difficulties and the police response to them go officially uncounted.


“Can we quantify the soft indicators that really matter to communities? Or are we doomed, like the man who lost his keys in the alley but searches for them under the street light, to keep looking in the wrong place because it is too hard to turn our attention where it belongs?” – Kelling 1992


When is the police measuring what matters?  Most citizens today not only expect but also often demand that their police respond quickly to calls for help and service. As a result, this has been one of the traditional measures used to assess police performance.

Over the last fifteen years, however, there has been a gradual restructuring of police priorities to strategies in the police practice of crime control. Furthermore, most performance indicators and evaluations currently used by police agencies emphasize only the crime control aspects of policing, typically consisting of compliance audits, statistical comparisons, or descriptive summaries of events, which still do not reflect all the work officers do.

New Measures of Performance Needed

Performance indicators do not directly measure quality of performance but should relate to the intended outcomes of a program.


Performance Indicators and their benchmarks should address the SLP’s  anticipated results and the degree of achievement.  They should point toward the ways to objectively measure the degree of success policies and programs have had in achieving the stated objectives, goals, and planned program activities.  

SLP needs to move the evaluation process from “What was expected?” and “How did you conduct the activity?” towards the measurement of “What actually occurred?” and “What was actually accomplished?” Therefore, Performance Indicators and their benchmarks need to relate as closely as possible to the intended outcomes rather than outputs.

Performance Indicators are an important vehicle for accountability of the police to the public.  However, they are also an important management tool for checking on how well individual elements are functioning and suggest areas where change may be called for. There can be a feedback loop from objective setting to performance measurement through Performance Indicators about organisational change.


Culled From Report on Crime Prevention Performance Indicators