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Police officer perceptions of a victim-services program

Author(s) Hatten, Patrycia, and Mel Moore
Title Police officer perceptions of a victim-services program
Source Journal of Applied Social Science, 2010, Vol. 4, No17, pp 17-24
Date 2010
Document type Journal article
Coverage United States
Summary This study examines how police officers view their victim-services program and when they are likely to a call a victim advocate to a crime scene. Eighty-eight police offers completed a questionnaire measuring their opinions about, and knowledge of the victim-services unit, along with possible barriers to accessing those services. In addition they were asked the extent to which they use the program, if their experiences with the program are positive and if they think the program is important to the community. Overwhelmingly officers find the program to be valuable and an important resource for the community. One barrier to requesting advocates was found to be when victims decline the services and it is suggested by the authors that victims may be too traumatised to understand how the advocates can help. It was also found that officers were more likely to request an advocate if the victim was female. Suggestions are made for improving officer training in victim services.
Keywords Victim support; advocates; barriers; service delivery
Topic Service delivery