Carry on constable: the value of foot patrol

Alison Wakefield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


At a time when proactive policing delivered by means of foot patrol is being restored to the fore in British policing, the aim of this paper is to discuss whether the public is getting the return that it might expect from foot patrol. It draws on social survey evidence to illuminate the policing outcomes, interventions and approaches that the public typically associate with foot patrol, equating to a proactive, non-threatening, community-oriented approach to local policing. The paper then describes a secondary appraisal of published studies of foot patrol interventions by the police or other agencies, conducted to explore how far patrols meet such expectations. It concludes that these not only addressed public demand but also helped reassert the symbolic function of policing as a sign of social order. Additionally, a plea is made for more, and better, research on public expectations of policing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-355
Number of pages14
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


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