Methods of Research of Public Fear

To be more specific, the studys central objectives are the measurement of public fear concerning burglaries in London, explore and compare the extents of this fear in different boroughs of London, and suggest distinct strategies/policy changes to address this problem. The future study will take an approach, in which representatives of the government, police, and forensic investigation agencies will provide their professional advices, as long as public fear can be biased with many factors described further within this research proposal. The future study is expected to be complicated, but feasible, so that the following aspects should be covered. The research proposal includes the discussion of the studys background: a review of the related literature and the most recent concepts that describe a problem of burglary in the United Kingdom and in London, in particular; the paper also outlines the sample, research questions, methodology, secondary data use, ethical considerations, and the time/costs resource expenses.


Background to the Study

A large volume of literature has been published on the subjects of burglary and the related public fears in the United Kingdom and in London, in particular. It would be appropriate to give an account of the most prominent standpoints, suggested with the related literature. In such a way, Lai, Zhao, and Longmire suggest that the publics fear concerning burglaries is very relevant. Their study has proved that residents are aware of crimes that are committed in the environments close to them, and hence their fears are not an over-reaction on media coverage or preexisting anxiety for being robbed. At the same time, Lai et al. Report that residents usually do not link the instant burglary incidences to their fears; such concerns arise, as a general irregular expression of anxiety. Thus, the citizens fear private burglaries, but this feeling does not trigger their behaviors and a mindset in a drastic way.

As a consequence, this study correlates with a book by Clarke and Hope, who argue that a burglar mobility, as well as information about block of buildings is much more important, rather than the attractiveness of a certain property. That is why, the residents awareness about burglary rates in a particular neighborhood determines their fears, meanwhile the possession of valuable property and items of luxury are not a distinct reason to express a fear for burglary. Nonetheless, a selection of a burglary target by burglars can be quite random, and that aspect does not trigger any extreme fears among the citizens. Therefore, the awareness about insights regarding burglary rates matters in causing fear among the residents. In addition, accessibility of a target is much stronger factor than the attractiveness, so that residents of frequently burgled areas are more concerned about losing their property, and such distribution of a public concern is natural and is obviously linked to awareness about the closest environments.

Taking these points into account, a suggestion regarding the contribution to the resolution of the problem should be provided. As Clearwater Police Department suggests, the majority of burglary cases are being resolved instantly, as criminals are caught by a police at a crime scene or right after committing a burglary. That is why, the authors make the assumptions that a better investment in the best practices of police reaction to burglaries will resolve the existing problem, so that burglary incidence will decrease by 40%. At the same time, Clearwater Police Department  argues that a collection of witness intelligence is also essential, and this approach of secondary investigation should be respectively addressed. Hence, the following study will focus on development of best practices and their adoption in London police departments for an advanced prevention and investigation of cases of burglary. The study will suggest a distinct methodology, as well as the detailed project plan of the best practices implementation.

Also, Meier  assumes that technological perspective can be an important consideration in that regard. First of all, burglary practice also is also facilitated with the technological progress: a historically observable tendency suggests that burglars adapt the recent and related technological advancements for making their burglary as feasible and well-planned as possible. In the light of proactive popularity of digital communication and residents exposure of property location/private information or, at least, hints for their access, an adequate police practice response should be based on the use of technology. Nevertheless, the use of technology does not necessarily mean the design of any specific innovations, but enacting the policies related to social media, the use of gadgets, and geolocation exposure should be congruent with the best police practices of burglary prevention and investigation. Overall, the aforementioned statements present a theoretical framework and guidelines for the future research, its methodology, and the key orientations related to the outlined objectives.

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Research Questions

On the basis of the aforementioned study, the following research questions will be addressed in the future investigation:

Question 1

Is there any specific need for investment and development of police best practices for the reduction of burglary incidence and the related public fear? Which districts of London need a particular attention in that respect? This is the primary question that should be addressed, as the rest of the study will be build upon this issue. Understanding of a real situation will determine a number of suggestions for the future, as investments and adoption of changes have to be well-scoped, otherwise such an initiative will be not accepted by the official representatives.

Question 2

What strategies and approaches can be suggested to address current situation with burglary crimes in London? As a consequence, this question is expected to comply with the outcomes of the first research question, as strategies and approaches to be suggested will be aligned with a degree of a need for their application. Depending on these outcomes, the second research questions can be answered. The answer will be determined with the results of data collection and processing, so that a single data set will support all of the research questions. This research question will also include various suggestions regarding technological perspective of the problem, meanwhile a concern regarding policy-making will be addressed as an independent research question.

Question 3

What policy changes or initiatives should be involved in order to address the problem and consider technological perspective of contemporary burglaries in London? As it has been already mentioned, this question will be based on the single research data, but additional policy analysis will be needed, owing to the fact that distinct recommendations for policy amendments and implementations should be suggested. Moreover, these recommendations will be congruent with the suggestions for best practices investment and implementation, so that these research questions will fully cover the problem of the study.


A choice of a sample is mainly based on the research questions, and the following population will be involved. Since measurement of a need for best practices investment, implementation, and changes to policy-making is explicit, participation of police officers, forensics specialists, and governmental representatives is particularly vital for sustaining the credible research outcomes. These populations are being directly related to the research problem, as they are the main executives and determiners of practices and policies that will be suggested by the future study. Therefore, their opinions are of paramount importance. The sample will be comprised of 118 participants, as it is a standard number of participants for such type of research.

The further study intends to measure a need for the suggested initiative of best practices investment, implementation, and policy amendment, which is why, the participation of the most opinionated and experienced populations is essential. The retrieval of their opinions will provide a clear understanding of the current situation regarding burglary incidences in London. That will also determine the suggestions for reduction of burglaries in the city, and extents of the problem reported by the participants will create a scope for the relevant recommendations. By the same token, the amendments to policy making will heavily depend on the opinions expressed with the target population of the study. Nevertheless, certain limitations will be still present. In fact, such a choice of a sample does not provide measurement of residents real concerns about private burglaries. Conversely, the selected participants are able to report about the real burglary rates, and this knowledge is much more valuable. This will provide the study with a rationale for suggesting the improvements, and residential property security will be advanced. The study background has already discussed the fact that citizens express their fears for burglary when they are living in environments with higher or growing rates of burglary. Hence, the reduction of this rate will decrease a spread of public fears in that regard.



Since police officers, government representatives, digital forensic specialists, and police inspectors are involved in the study, collection and quantitative comparison of their opinions regarding suggested innovations play an important role. They represent the most involved stakeholders, which is why the consideration of their views on the suggested changes is vital, since they will be the central executives of the best practices and innovations. A direct access to the most valuable opinions and insights, related to the research outcomes, is the main advantage of survey. Nevertheless, statistical insignificance is a potential risk to make the future study limited and less empirically-driven. Surveys are hard to interpret and detect the implications on findings, so that the future study may become excessively complicated. The survey will cover the subject of adoption of best practices of police instant prevention of burglary, as well as design the new approaches to this activity. Likewise, professional opinions regarding policy changes and development of digital forensics for prevention of burglary and potential exposure of information related to the residents property.

Concerning the selection of data for the study, both primary and secondary data will be useful. On the one hand,he primary data will provide relevant and maximally unbiased information, meanwhile accessing the secondary survey data places certain challenges to its interpretation. On the other hand, the primary data may be hard to collect, as accessing various professionals, related to the subject, is evidently a complicated task, especially in case with contacting governmental representatives. In order to return to the subject of the secondary data use, it has to be aligned with a certain concept model, as collection of the secondary data implies references to different sources. Combining all of the secondary data together is not appropriate, since strong biases in interpretation will be strongly present. The same consideration should be focused on during the combination of the secondary data with the primary information.

Policy Analysis

Policy analysis is applicable to the future study, as a rage of problems related to present the policy-making for regulation and control of burglary incidences. First of all, the persistence of digital communication and social media provides burglars with the information about property of residents or, at least, support them with the hints sufficient for committing such a crime. Social media users, as legally protected citizens, are not provided with the sufficient privacy safety, so that drastic changes in policy-making can be suggested. However, intentional exposure of personal information makes this issue quite controversial.

These policy changes are related to the government in its legal and executive power, since the first category is expected to enact an appropriate policy, and executive power should have the make up-to-date adjustments within the extents of its official potential and capability to change the approaches to policy execution. In other words, formal and methodological aspects are not addressed, even though the question of digital security is frequently discussed, and its relation to burglary rates is often explained. Beyond any doubts, the drastic changes will cause a strong public misunderstanding of such changes, so that a generic approach should be suggested.

In order to do that, the analysis of existing policies should be conducted, as they will present the basis and scope for a complex of changes. At the same time, the collection of best practices in other countries is pivotal. The third source is the scientific evidence, especially from the sphere of digital forensics, as it is the most related field of study. Therefore, the balanced combination of these sources will present a concept model for the implementation and deployment to a regular practice. The aim, however, may seem to be hardly attainable, but it will be an adequate response to the trends mentioned in the background of the study.

Research Ethics

Involvement of such participants as police officers and governmental representatives include a number of ethical issues. The primary ethical issue is mainly based on the fact that police officers may feel forced to answer the survey questions with the consideration of a fear for their workplace or spoilage of the UK police image. This dilemma is particularly strong and controversial, as results of the related survey questions reflect the situation with burglary rates in London. However, a common practice suggests that police officers should not be penalized for the expression of their attitudes towards working conditions, and leaders are supposed to act in the best interest of their subordinates. Creeds of autocratic leadership are actually unacceptable in police departments, even though this agency is expected to demonstrate a higher level of discipline and commitment. Practical threat of biased survey results is not persistent under such circumstances, and moderate biases are not expected to exceed the norm of deviation.

Contacting government representatives implies a fact that they may imply a certain political agenda or even reject the review of the suggestions, owing to its responsibility for the present situation. On the contrary, a contemporary tendency suggests that the increase of public opinion matters more, and politicians are more willing to review the public initiatives. Needless to say, such ethical dilemma is not persistent, and its influence on survey outcome will not affect the results of the entire study. However, such implications should be considered during policy analysis and interpretation of the data. It is appropriate to make a general comment on the fact that these ethical implications, as well as methodological limitations, will mean that the future study is not ultimate in regards to the problem of burglary. This fact, however, is not a drawback, as this will mean a better feasibility of the study.

Secondary Data

The use of the secondary data will be used for supplementing the research in a number of ways. First of all, policy reports and media texts will create a background and determine a scope for recommendations and initiatives, suggested with the study. Second, these data will support findings interpretation with a particular context, so that the results will be more attached to a context of police practices of burglary prevention and the related policy making. Analysis of previous policy amendments will be useful supplementary materials, as long as they will orient the study towards the adequate recommendations for policy enacting/change.

The use of policy reports and similar surveys will be utilized as the secondary data, as they will locate the future findings in a particular discourse: the results themselves do not represent any particular meaning for the research problem, so that knowledge and expertise of past similar studies can be valuable. For this reason, the study will accumulate the policy amendment reports and police inspectors surveys for the last five years in order to trace a particular tendency, which will become a rationale for new recommendations. In such a way, the future study will not achieve desired goals without the employment of the secondary data. It is informative to note that accumulation of these data should consider different settings of its collection, so that all information will be adjusted to a certain conceptual framework designed by the future study. Development of specific criteria for data alignment is essential because the combination of data from various sources with different methods of processing, sampling, and population will make the study extremely complicated and even unfeasible. The selection of data will be not random, so that conceptual framework will be applied prior to the collection of the secondary data. This will ensure data combinability and provide framework for the secondary data gathering.

Time and Cost Resources

Needless to say, the study will take a certain period of time and require the use of numerous resources, which is why they should be outlined. Data collection and accessing the target sample is estimated to take from five to seven months, as the sample is presented with people of various spheres, and surveying 118 individuals is quite a complicated task. The study estimates the upper margin of expenses and time frame, as various practical obstacles and disruptions may force the study deviate from the estimated timetable. Further, the findings processing and interpretation may take from 8 to 14 weeks, as the study will require a simultaneous accumulation of the secondary data. Again, a maximal period is outlined in order to consider the potential deviations.

The study does not involve the substantial financial expenses, so that there is no specific need to outline and estimate them. Accessing the target population is expected to be free of charge because of the reasons mentioned in the previous section. The retrieval of policy amendment reports and related survey results are also accessible without any charges. The entire study is based on an intention to address public interests, so that participation of the target population or accessing the secondary data should be possible. It is no surprise that a researcher is expected to obtain the warranty and all related official documentation for conducting a study, so that the presence of the official approval for scientific activity will eliminate or minimize the potential expenses/obstacles in accessing the study material and the surveys target population. All in all, time and cost resources are limited to the aforementioned constraints and will not pose any additional challenges to the study.

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