Expectations of and satisfaction with the South African Police Service in the Klerksdorp area
To effectively consult with the community, police managers should have a good understanding of what the public thinks that the police currently do and what they would prefer the police to do. Citizen satisfaction is jointly used with job satisfaction, job stress, the possibility of burnout and work engagement within the police as a performance measure of police-citizen encounters. 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 Klerksdorp 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 cross-sectional survey design was used. The study population (N = 597) includes samples of uniformed police personnel in the Klerksdorp area (n = 109), as well as a sample of the community (n = 488). Two different measuring batteries were compiled, the one for community members consisted mainly of the Public Attitude survey (PAS), and the one for police members of the Public Attitude Survey (PAS), Job Satisfaction Survey (MSQ), Police Stress Survey (PSS), Maslach Burnout Inventory - General Survey (MBI-GS) and Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES). Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data. The results indicate that both the SAPS and the community perceive the present and preferred priorities of the police to be the investigation of crime, with the exception that the public expect the police to make the giving of advice a higher priority. Correlations were found between police members' intrinsic job satisfaction, and extrinsic job satisfaction and professional efficacy; police stressors and exhaustion; and between the dimensions of engagement. It appears that the community experienced the SAPS as neat and respectful but not really trustworthy. Accordingly, the police do not truly trust the community to co-operate with them. Recommendations for future research were made.