Introduction: The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) established in 1867 as a paramilitary organization and over its 148 year history, the institution has sought to address various crimes and it appears that all its policy efforts have come to nought. In seeking to combat the crime pandemic in the society, the entity has been accused of corruption, abuses, professional misconduct and excessive use of power. With such accusations and claims, there has been a negative image of the JCF and so it has sought to inco-operate the user as a part of policing strategy. To date, there has been no empirical research undertaken on service quality in the JCF.
Objectives: The purpose of this research is to evaluate the perception of Jamaicans on the service quality of the JCF following the implementation of any aspect of modernization. In that it is to provide insights into service quality (SERVQUAL), aid policy implementation and highlight the current gap in SERVQUAL between the citizen and the police. There is a clear realist that the present policing strategies and mechanisms require modernization. Assessing service quality in the JCF can provide a perspective and solution on the matter of crime management within the society.
Materials and methods: The large volume of data were stored, retrieved and analyzed using the Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences (SPSS) for Windows version 17.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). Descriptive statistics were performed on the data as well as percentages and frequency distributions. Service Quality is measured using a simple mathematical equation Eqn 1: SQ = P – E Where, SQ denotes overall service quality; P symbolizes perception and E means service quality expectation.
Findings: In all cases in Jamaica, a negative score was recorded for SERVQUAL indicating that JCF is not meeting the needs of users of its service. On desegregating the overall SERVQUAL of JCF members, Jamaicans highest expectations were for assurance and reliability of SERVQUAL.
Conclusion: The psychology of dissatisfaction with the service delivery of the JCF is accounting for the failure of its initiatives and unless the negative gaps between perceptions and expectations are addressed, the JCF will be a failed organization.
Paul Andrew Bourne