Wesley G. Skogan. "Survey Assessments of Police Performance." 2007. In Mike
Hough and Mike Maxfield (eds.), Surveying Crime in the 21st Century, Crime
Prevention Studies, 22. Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press, 165-181.
This article considers the British Crime Survey (BCS) as a vehicle for monitoring police
performance. The BCS has two complimentary foci on the police: monitoring reports of general
confidence in the police and tracking encounters between police and the public. These raise
substantive and methodological issues, and have implications for survey design. Among these
are response validity, or the issue of whether "confidence" questions actually reflect the quality
of policing on the ground. We also need to ensure that the measurement process measures
what it does with maximal accuracy. This paper reviews validity and reliability issues in the
context of assessing general confidence and tracking public encounters with the police. It calls
for a program of methodological research to document the error structure of the data and
guide improvements and decisions about key features of the survey.