Efficiency, effectiveness and public trust in policing in the era of austerity: a study of police forces in England and Wales, 2011 – 2017.

  • Xinyan Cheng

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This research measures police efficiency, effectiveness and public trust for territorial police forces in England and Wales from 2011/12 to 2017/18, under the background of a spending reduction among the police forces from 2011/12 to 2014/15.

Research goals: to quantify the efficiency, effectiveness and public trust at the level of police force area during the period of austerity; to compare and analyse whether any police forces performed better than others and in what areas; to analyse factors contributing to improving police performance from the perspective of resource allocation; to investigate any association between efficiency, effectiveness and public trust.

Primary research methods: data envelopment analysis to measure police efficiency, panel linear regression to analyse the relationship between performance and resources, and social text mining as a supplement method to measure public trust.

Main dataset: Crime Survey for England and Wales (with low-level geographic data), Police Workforce in England and Wales, Tweets extracted from Twitter.

Innovations: Although this method is still used in other nations with crime data in recent publications, data envelopment analysis has never been employed to analyse police efficiency in the UK after 2006. This research once again applies the data envelopment analysis method to measure police efficiency. It employs survey data to measure effectiveness outcomes to include hidden crimes that were not reported to the police. To measure public trust, a supplement text mining method, sentiment analysis with Tweets, is proposed to assess attitudes toward the police.
Date of Award28 Jun 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorNick Pearce (Supervisor), Theresa Smith (Supervisor) & Julie Barnett (Supervisor)


  • police performance
  • police efficiency
  • public trust
  • austerity
  • DEA
  • CSEW
  • social media mining

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