Journal Article

Seen and Not Heard: Young People's Perceptions of the Police

Jennifer Norman

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 3, issue 4, pages 364-372
Published in print January 2009 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online October 2009 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI:
Seen and Not Heard: Young People's Perceptions of the Police

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This article presents findings based on research commissioned by the Metropolitan Police Service in 2008 that explored young people's perceptions of the police in London. All participants had previous contact with the police, in both positive and negative circumstances. In order to inform more effective police engagement strategies, the research sought to understand what young people thought of the police and how their opinions were established. The findings emphasize the importance of supportive, consistent and direct personal contact between officers and young people. Where this existed, perceptions of the police were positive or shifted from negative to positive. However, negative perceptions were also apparent, and these were facilitated by perceptions of unfair targeting and treatment from the police. Consequently, young people felt less able to access the police for protection and vulnerable to being victims of crime. However, despite this the majority of participants wanted to feel safer and experience more support from the police.

Journal Article.  4589 words. 

Subjects: Policing

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