Although earlier surveys showed a steady decline in the number of people rating police performance as very good, this decline appeared to have steadied between 1988 and 1992. In 1988, 25 percent said the police were very good, while 24 percent gave the police a very good rating in 1992. The 1992 BCS showed that victim satisfaction with case handling rallied somewhat. Citizens thought the police did a particularly good job in dealing with crowds, traffic, and accidents. Police effectiveness in dealing with burglary, white collar crime, and crime victims, however, was seen less favorably, and respondents were also less satisfied with foot patrol. Visible police patrols, personal acquaintance with a police officer, and reliance on the mass media for information about policing were related to higher levels of satisfaction with the police. About 54 percent of those interviewed had some encounter with the police during the previous year. More than 80 percent were satisfied with the speed of police response, and at least 95 percent felt they had been treated fairly politely by the police. Methodological issues associated with crime reporting and public opinion polls are discussed. Detailed survey data are tabulated in appendixes. References, tables, and figures
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