The thesis reviews the changes which have taken place in policing England and Wales between 1950 and 1998 with particular reference to four key themes: community policing, crime preverition, victims of crime and quality of service. It contributes to ah understanding of how policing has developed during a period of significant social change and explores the rationale which has underpinned legislative development and policy making at national and force levels whilst identifying the significance of these changes within a local city environment. The development of the key themes at national level is considered within the local policing environment of the south-west of England. This has been undertaken with particular reference to the way in which they have influenced the direction of policing within Devon and Cornwall and, in particular, how aspects of their implementation have been perceived by both police officers and sections of the public within the largest urban area of the two counties, the city of Plymouth. Much of the detailed research within the city has concentrated upon the area of Stonehouse, forming part of the St Peter ward; an area which has been identified as one of the most socially and economically deprived locations in England. Through personal interviews, telephone and postal questionnaires, and an insider's ethnographic perspective, the study is brought into local focus. This allows critical analysis of the key themes in terms of their local development against the national perspective.

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