Reading: / Matching Headings / Part 10

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-6, which are based on Reading Passage


A   Police departments in the United States and Canada see it as central to their role that they respond to calls for help as quickly as possible. This ability to react fast has been greatly improved with the aid of tech­nology. The telephone and police radio, already long in use, assist greatly in the reduction of police response time. In more recent times there has been the introduction of the '911' emergency system, which allows the public easier and faster contact with police, and the use of police computer systems, which assist police in planning patrols and assigning emergency requests to the police officers nearest to the scene of the emergency.

B   An important part of police strategy, rapid police response is seen by police officers and the public alike as offering tremendous benefits. The more obvious ones are the ability of police to apply first-aid life-saving techniques quickly and the greater likelihood of arresting people who may have participated in a crime. It aids in identifying those who witnessed an emergency or crime, as well as in collecting evidence. The overall reputation of a police department, too, is enhanced if rapid response is consistent, and this in itself promotes the prevention of crime. Needless to say, rapid response offers the public some degree of satisfaction in its police force.

C   While these may be the desired consequences of rapid police response, actual research has not shown it to be quite so beneficial. For example, it has been demonstrated that rapid response leads to a greater like­lihood of arrest only if responses are in the order of 1-2 minutes after a call is received by the police. When response times increase to 3-4 minutes — still quite a rapid response — the likelihood of an arrest is sub­stantially reduced. Similarly, in identifying witnesses to emergencies or crimes, police are far more likely to be successful if they arrive at the scene no more than four minutes, on average, after receiving a call for help. Yet both police officers and the public define 'rapid response' as responding up to 10-12 minutes after calling the police for help.

D   Should police assume all the responsibility for ensuring a rapid response? Studies have shown that people tend to delay after an incident occurs before contacting the police. A crime victim may be injured and thus unable to call for help, for example, or no telephone may be available at the scene of the incident. Often, however, there is no such physical barrier to calling the police. Indeed, it is very common for crime victims to eall their parents, their minister, or even their insurance company first. When the police are finally called in such cases, the effectiveness of even the most rapid of responses is greatly diminished.

E   The effectiveness of rapid response also needs to be seen in light of the nature of the crime. For example, when someone rings the police after discovering their television set has been stolen from their home, there is little point, in terms of identifying those responsible for the crime, in ensuring a very rapid response. It is common in such burglary or theft cases that the victim discovers the crime hours, days, even weeks after it has occurred. When the victim is directly involved in the crime, however, as in the case of a robbery, rapid response, provided the victim was quickly able to contact the police, is more likely to be advantageous. Based on statistics comparing crimes that are discovered and those in which the victim is directly involved, Spelman and Brown (1981) suggest that three in four calls to police need not be met with rapid response.

F   It becomes clear that the importance of response time in collecting evidence or catching criminals after a crime must be weighed against a variety of factors. Yet because police department officials assume the public strongly demands rapid response, they believe that every call to the police should be met with it. Studies have shown, however, that while the public wants quick response, more important is the information given by the police to the person asking for help. If a caller is told the police will arrive in five minutes but in fact it takes ten minutes or more, waiting the extra time can be extremely frustrating. But if a caller is told he or she will have to wait 10 minutes and the police indeed arrive within that time, the caller is normally satisfied. Thus, rather than emphasizing rapid response, the focus of energies should be on establishing realistic expectations in the caller and making every effort to meet them.

Questions 1-5

Reading Passage has 6 paragraphs. Choose the most suitable headings for paragraphs B-F from the list of headings below.  Write the appropriate numbers (i-ix) in boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet.

N.B.: There are more headings than paragraphs so you will not use all of them. You may use any of the headings more than once.

       List of headings

i. Responsibilities of responding police officers

ii. Perceived advantages of rapid response

iii. Police response to public satisfaction

iv. Communicating response time to people requesting help

v.  When rapid response is and is not necessary

vi. Role of technology in improving police response

vii. Response time and success of response

viii. Public demand for catching criminals

ix.  Obstacles to quickly contacting the police

        Example                       Answer:  

           Paragraph A                      vi

1. Paragraph B ………..

2. Paragraph C ………..

3. Paragraph D ………..

4. Paragraph E ………..

5. Paragraph F ………..