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Why Measure Performance?

NCJ Number
Policing Volume: 5 Issue: 3 Dated: (Autumn 1989) Pages: 231-244
R Abbotts
Date Published
14 pages
This article points out that government initiatives to measure and evaluate police performance must first define the functions of the police and their expected achievements.
Because many police functions are expected by the public but not defined by statute, certain attempts at efficiency may knock out the ability of police to respond to minor or major emergencies. This can raise issues of financial and management accountability as well as police legitimacy. Statutory controls and administrative controls must be coordinated. Because British police management must assess whether the police service is providing value for money, it must carry out basic and continuous evaluative research. As a part of its evaluative research strategy, the police force should carry out an in-depth public attitude survey to measure whether the police are providing the services the public needs and expects. Other initiatives should include performance measuring and monitoring programs for police departments. 13 references.