Andrew Millie and Victoria Herrington (2004) Reassurance Policing: Views from the shop floor, Selected papers from the British Criminology Conference, Vol.7., Portsmouth, July 2004
Recent years have seen falls in recorded crime in England and Wales, although the perception for many has remained that crime is rising. This has been dubbed the reassurance gap and is closely related to concerns over fear of crime and public confidence in the police. Reassurance policing (RP) is seen as a means to address this ‘gap’. But is RP simply community policing repackaged? Does it offer more than improved public relations? As a concept, RP has been evolving since the late-1990s and in October 2003 the Home Office funded National Reassurance Policing Programme (NRPP) was launched with pilot sites located in eight police force areas. Prior to this, RP was developed and trialled in two of these forces, and was closely informed by the signal crimes perspective under development by Innes and colleagues. The authors were involved in monitoring progress made by the two initial forces, and in assessing the readiness of the remaining six for participation in the NRPP. This paper draws on interviews and focus groups held with key stakeholders from both police and partnership agencies.