Have Community Policing Initiatives Changed Police Perceptions of Accountability in Macquarie Fields and have they Led to Better Police-Community Relations?
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In February 2005, riots involving local youth against police erupted in Macquarie Fields following the deaths of two local young men who were in a stolen vehicle being pursued by police. The riots at the time were dismissed by the serving Government, the Opposition, NSWP police management and sections of the media, as merely a handful of young thugs behaving poorly. However, subsequent media coverage, political debate recorded in Hansard, academic literature and the findings of the Standing Committee on Social Issues (2006) revealed discontent amongst some residents concerning the behavior, attitudes and inconsistent actions of Macquarie Fields police. This study, through interviews conducted with government and non-government service providers servicing the Macquarie Fields community and interviews/observations conducted with Macquarie Fields police participants, examined perceptions held by Macquarie Fields police concerning their accountability and partnership with the community. It sought to discover whether police-community programs implemented following the 2005 riots impacted upon police perceptions of accountability to the community and led to improved relations between police and community. Findings indicated that despite the attempts of Government and police management to improve relations between Macquarie Fields police and community, the relationship remained problematic. Police participants were found to hold variable notions of accountability and partnership towards the community. This combined negatively with the primary crime reduction strategy of ‘stopping searching and moving on’ local youth socializing in public places, which was reported by community service respondents as being conducted by younger inexperienced police in an adversarial manner.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Item Access Status
Macquarie Fields, New South Wales
Macquarie Fields police
Community policing initiatives