Social Indicators Research

, Volume 61, Issue 1, pp 1–18 | Cite as

Policing Services and the Quality of Life

  • Alex C. Michalos


In this paper results are reported of a randomsample survey of 698 residents of PrinceGeorge, British Columbia taken in May 2001.The main aim of the survey was to measurerespondents' assessments of local policeservices in Prince George, and their relativeimpact on the quality of respondents' lives.Generally speaking, the evaluations were quitefavourable. For example, in response to thequestion `what kind of a job do you think theRCMP are doing', 30% said a `very good job'and 38% said a `fairly good job', compared to2% who said they were doing a `very poor job'and 4% more a `fairly poor job'. Compared toa 1997 survey, fewer people thought that crimehad increased in the past few years, which isactually consistent with official crimestatistics. The biggest perceived problem waswith speeding and careless driving, althoughrespondents rated traffic and highwayenforcement as the least important of a dozenkinds of police activities. People mostappreciated police work aimed at preventingcrimes. Of the things people did to protectthemselves from becoming a victim, keepingitems in their cars out of sight headed thelist. As in previous surveys in thiscommunity, highest levels of satisfaction wereexpressed for living partners and familyrelations generally. Estimating the relativeimpact of three police/crime related variables(satisfaction with feelings of personal safetyaround one's home and in one's community, andwith local policing services) on the qualityof life measured in five different ways in thecontext of 12 other variables, it was foundthat only the last variable (satisfaction withpolicing services) had a statisticallysignificant association to the quality of lifemeasured in three of the five ways. Fortypercent of the variation in happiness scoresand 63% of the variation in life satisfactionscores could be explained by five and sixpredictors, respectively, without anysignificant association with satisfaction withpolicing services. Sixty-two percent of thevariation in satisfaction with respondents'overall quality of life scores could beexplained by eight predictors, withsatisfaction with policing services as thethird most influential predictor behindsatisfaction with respondents' self-esteem andfriendships. Sixty-one percent of thevariation in satisfaction with respondents'standard of living scores was explained byseven predictors, with satisfaction withpolicing services being least influential.Finally, 76% of the variation in an index ofsubjective well-being (summing the scores ofthe other four global indicators) wasexplained by nine predictors, withsatisfaction with policing services beingsecond least influential.


Related Variable Previous Survey Life Score Police Activity Police Work 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. Michalos, A. C.: 1996, 'Aspects of the quality of life in Prince George: A case study in Canada', South Asian Journal of Psychology 1, pp. 45-70.Google Scholar
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  3. Michalos, A. C. and B. D. Zumbo: 1999, 'Public services and the quality of life', Social Indicators Research 48, pp. 125-156.Google Scholar
  4. Michalos, A. C. and B. D. Zumbo: 2000, 'Criminal victimization and the quality of life', Social Indicators Research 50, pp. 245-295.Google Scholar
  5. Michalos, A. C. and B. D. Zumbo: 2002, 'Healthy days, health satisfaction and satisfaction with the overall quality of life', Social Indicators Research, tbp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex C. Michalos
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Social Research and EvaluationUniversity of Northern British ColumbiaPrince George

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