What Does 'Don't Know' Mean? Explaining Citizen Don't Know Responses in Police Surveys

Peter Grabosky, Jianhong Liu, Lynette Robyn Hinds

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Criminology. Criminologykriminologie important analytical and theoretical issues. The purpose of this article is to confront these issues direct and to show that DK reflects substantive causes rather than measurement inadequacy, Based on data from a sample survey of residents in a medium sized Australian city, the article tests hypotheses that attitudes towards police, contact with police, and community characteristics influence the likelihood of DK responses in answering police performance questions. Results show that negative attitudes towards police are not associated with DK responses, but that willingness to assist police and contact with police both reduce DK responses. Findings further show that DK has a substantive meaning linked to low crime salience in the community. implications of the findings for handling ÐKs in police surveys are discussed. Despite the importance of the DK problem, no published work in police research has directly addressed this issue, and as a consequence, little guidance has thus far been offered to deal with it. This article is the first to do so.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCurrent Problems Of The Penal Law and Criminology
    EditorsHerausgegeben Von
    Place of PublicationWarszawa
    PublisherWydawnictwo C.H.Beck
    ISBN (Print)9788325563479
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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