Better Policing through a Paradigm Shift in Public Perception of the Police

  •  Gopala Krishnan Sekharan Nair    
  •  Azyanee Luqman    
  •  Thenmolli Vadeveloo    
  •  Rasaya Marimuthu    
  •  Saravanan Shanmuggam    


The general populace may not always have a good impression of the police force. It is essential that the public should have a positive perception of the police force so that the force may be able to count on public cooperation in their efforts to combat crime and maintain public order. This paper investigated the factors that influenced the public opinion of the police such as police effectiveness in combating crime, corruption, brutality and personal links between police and the public. It is a qualitative study comprising 30 respondents from Terengganu and 30 from Penang. It was found that most of the educated members were not happy with the police as they felt that the police could be more effective in combating crime. In addition, respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the prevalence of corruption and brutality in the police force. They also felt that the actions taken by the police to curb these ills are inadequate. The police should further reduce crime and seen to be acting sternly against corruption and brutality in order to regain public confidence and win their cooperation in combating crime. Further research should be carried out on a quantitative basis using a much larger sample.

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