Expectations of and satisfaction with the South African Police Service in the Rustenburg area
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Little quantitative research has been published on expectations of and satisfaction with the South African Police Service (SAPS) from the perspective of both the public and the police. Furthermore, scientific information is also needed about how police members perceive their own jobs and services to their clients, namely the public. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to determine the expectations and satisfaction of the community and the police as well as the congruence between the community's expectations and the police's perceptions regarding policing in the Rustenburg area of the North West Province. A further objective was to determine if there were any differences between Afrikaans-, English- and Tswana-speaking members of the community. The relationship between job satisfaction, stress, burnout and engagement of police members was also investigated. A qualitative design (interviews and focus groups) was used to identify items that could be used in the questionnaires. Furthermore, a cross-sectional design was used to describe the information collected at that time. Stratified random samples of both the police (N=101) and the community (N-418) were taken in the Rustenburg area of the North West Province. The following measuring instruments were included in this study: for both the community and the police the Public Attitude Survey was used and for police only the Minnesota Satisfaction Survey, the Police Stress Survey, the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale. A comparison between the present and preferred priorities of both the public and the police shows that both are of the opinion that the overall service of the SAPS should improve. Although it seems as if the police and the community agree on overall improvement of the SAPS, there is no congruence on what the community expects and the perceptions of police officials regarding service delivering. Consequently the results show that the preferred expectations of the community were very skewly distributed, suggesting that their expectations are unrealistic. No significant differences were found between the three language communities regarding their present view of the police. However, differences were found between Afrikaans- and Tswana-speaking people regarding their expectations of crime prevention and assistance. Job satisfaction, police stress, burnout and engagement were significantly related. Recommendations for future research were made.
- Health Sciences