Policing and Society

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


Policing and Society is concerned with the activity of policing and the factors which affect it. A major part of this material will concern the police -- social scientific investigations of police policy, legal analyses of police powers and their constitutional status, and management oriented research on aspects of police organization -- but space will also be devoted to the relationship between what the police do and the policing decision and functions of community groups, private sector organizations and other state agencies. The journal will concern itself with the political economy of policing. As such it will be of interest to academics from most of the social science disciplines as well as police and other practitioners involved in social regulation and control. Policing and Society provides a genuinely international forum and will have correspondents in most countries where there is a tradition of research and academic inquiry into all aspects of policing. The journal is committed to rigorous policy debate and the highest standards of scholarship.

Impact factor 0.69

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  • Eigenfactor
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  • Website
    Policing and Society website
  • Other titles
    Policing & society (Online), Policing and society
  • ISSN
  • OCLC
  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Taylor & Francis

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Some individual journals may have policies prohibiting pre-print archiving
    • On author's personal website or departmental website immediately
    • On institutional repository or subject-based repository after either 12 months embargo for STM, Behavioural Science and Public Health Journals or 18 months embargo for SSH journals
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • On a non-profit server
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to publisher version
    • Set statements to accompany deposits (see policy)
    • The publisher will deposit in on behalf of authors to a designated institutional repository including PubMed Central, where a deposit agreement exists with the repository
    • STM: Science, Technology and Medicine
    • SSH: Social Science and Humanities
    • Publisher last contacted on 25/03/2014
    • 'Taylor & Francis (Psychology Press)' is an imprint of 'Taylor & Francis'
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recent research has stressed the dependency of the private security industry on public recognition and legitimacy. This article discusses how one Swedish security company, through the work of its individual security officers ‘on the ground’, carries out legitimation work in relation to the public. The empirical focus in this examination is on the company's work vis-à-vis youths from ‘foreign’ backgrounds in the ethnically and socioeconomically segregated suburbs of one of the largest cities in Sweden. The ethnographic data collected through field-based interviews and observations on the security company officers’ work, perceptions and views point to a specific type of legitimacy management strategy adopted by the company in question in its operational context: ‘policing by ethnic matching’. The article shows how this strategy is implemented to avoid anticipated accusations of ethnic discrimination, to manage such accusations when they nevertheless occur and to repair the legitimacy of the business when it is seen to have been damaged. The techniques used in the company's efforts to advance its legitimacy claims are shown to rely on impression and emotion management.
    Policing and Society 03/2015; 25(2).
  • Jan Terpstra
    Policing and Society 12/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper develops a typology of boundaries faced by public police organizations. Following trends in police organization structure and developments in organization theory, the paper focuses on the work-unit level as the locus of organizational boundary activity. Treating boundaries as sites of negotiation that arise when overlap occurs between units inter- and intra-organizationally, the paper focuses on operational aspects of public policing in creating typological categories. The typology elaborates three boundary types: scarcity, proximity, and technical/systemic. These can each be subdivided into two further categories: physical and virtual. Using examples from recent fieldwork in British Columbia's Lower Mainland District, the paper provides examples of each boundary type and suggests common strategies for boundary negotiation. In using the typology to understand public police as organizations within a complex web of similarly organized actors, the paper emphasizes the particular importance of informal and personal contact networks for comprehending boundary activity in public police work. The implications of this finding for the challenges of twenty-first century-policing are explored, and a future research agenda is outlined.
    Policing and Society 10/2014; 24(5).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article examined adherence to current best practice recommendations for police interviewing of individuals suspected of committing child-sexual offences. We analysed 81 police records of interviews (electronically recorded and then transcribed) with suspects in child-sexual abuse cases in England and Australia. Overall we found areas of skilled practice, indicating that police interviewing in Australia and England is in a far better place than 20 years ago. However, this study also demonstrated that there is still a gap between the recommended guidelines for interviewing and what actually happens in practice. Specifically, limitations were found in the following areas: transparency of the interview process; introduction of allegations; disclosure of evidence; questioning techniques; and the interviewing approach or manner adopted. The practical implications of these findings are discussed.
    Policing and Society 10/2014; 24(5).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Police response to public protest in the USA has been seen as stemming from both threats to the interests of political and financial elite as well as threats to the maintenance of public order. Indeed, many of the same features of protest events are used as indicators of both types of threat, leading to substantial uncertainty regarding the interpretation of threat at public gatherings. In this study, we draw on over 16,000 protest events identified from daily issues of the New York Times (NYT) from 1960 to 1995 to develop a more complete picture of public order policing. In doing so, we identify several dimensions of protest events that lead to more complicated and complex interactions between protestors and police. These features, including a diverse tactical repertoire, diverse protesting groups and event size, create crowd management difficulties that contribute to an overall more aggressive police response. Tactical diversity is an especially strong predictor of police action, while protest event size is found to interact with threatening protestor behaviours that largely necessitate a police response. We conclude by placing these findings firmly within a public order management approach to protest policing, thereby clearing up some of the ambiguities in existing protest policing research.
    Policing and Society 10/2014; 24(5).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The vast majority of studies to date have documented a negative impact associated with contacts between the police and victims of crime. In contrast, this qualitative study examined how victim-police interactions, specifically perceptions of procedural justice (fair treatment by police) can help victims reduce the trauma associated with the crime and help them recover from the negative psychological consequences of victimisation experiences. In-depth interviews were conducted with 110 people who had reported a crime (personal or property) to the police during the previous year. The findings indicated that validation of victimisation experiences by the police was beneficial in addressing the negative psychological consequences of crime by giving victims a sense of closure, empowerment, and making them feel safer. Moreover, the validation of victimisation experiences by the police was vitally important to the victims of crime as it was seen as an indication of their value in and a broader validation from a wider community. This study suggests that the processes associated with reporting crimes to the police may be essential for the victims' recovery from their victimisation experiences. Implications for policy development are discussed.
    Policing and Society 10/2014; 24(5).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Mental Health Intervention Team (MHIT) programme was developed by New South Wales Police Force (NSWPF) to improve police capacity to respond efficiently and safely to incidents involving persons with a mental illness (PWMI). The programme was initiated in 2008 in three Local Area Commands, wherein 111 officers received enhanced training. It has since been funded for roll-out across the Force. In this paper, we evaluate the success of the MHIT against its key aims: to reduce injury to police and people with a mental illness during their interactions, to enhance awareness amongst police of issues relating to mental illness and how best to mitigate these, to improve interagency collaboration in responding to PWMI and to reduce the amount of unnecessary time police spend on mental health events. We conclude that the MHIT led to increased confidence among police in dealing with mental health-related events, reduced police involvement in transportation of PWMI and improved handover between police and mental health care services. Despite such positive findings, difficulties with interagency cooperation remained, which – we argue – reflects differences in organisational and accountability structures, and concern among NSWPF's partners about the flow-on implications for their own resources. One remedy, we conclude, may lie in a fundamental reconfiguration of public sector responses to PWMI.
    Policing and Society 10/2014; 24(5).
  • Policing and Society 10/2014; 24(5).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article draws attention to the growing significance of religion in the policy and practice of British policing – a development that has largely escaped academic notice. The authors suggest these developments are significant and worthy of careful scholarly attention, drawing on the disciplines and expertise of both criminology and theology and religious studies, to the mutual enrichment of both. Through such cross-disciplinary engagement a richer picture is possible in which the significance of religion in a number of areas of policing policy and practice may be both recognised and seen to be interrelated. One immediate consequence is suggested: a different context of interpretation for police engagement with faith communities for the purposes of counterterrorism – the one area of policing where religion emerges as a theme in scholarly study. At the same time, it is suggested that engaging with policing might provide fertile grounding for vibrant discussions of the nature of the secular and of the place of religion in public life that enjoy significant currency in theology and religious studies and the social sciences, especially in Britain, the USA and Scandinavia. The authors draw on their own research on police engagement with faith communities in two metropolitan police service boroughs.
    Policing and Society 10/2014; 24(5).
  • Policing and Society 09/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The current study was designed to assess the possible differences in the accuracy and precision of two methodological mapping techniques as predictors of future gun crimes in Little Rock, AR: (1) risk terrain modelling (RTM) and (2) nearest neighbour hierarchical (Nnh), a traditional hot spot technique, which relies on past crime to predict where future crime is likely to occur. Data from the Little Rock Police Department, the Little Rock Treasury Department and the 2000 census were used to examine Nnh hot spot and RTM methods of gun crime prediction. The RTM incorporated measures of crime generators and crime attractors, while Nnh hot spots were constructed from 2008 gun crime data. The two measures were compared using their predictive accuracy index (PAI) and recapture rate index (RRI) values. Six of the seven social and physical environmental measures in the RTM significantly predicted future gun crime locations and the Nnh hot spots predicted 7% of future gun crime. PAI and RRI values suggested the RTM was more precise than the Nnh hot spot technique and the Nnh hot spot technique was more accurate than the RTM technique. Relying on one spatial prediction technique may create problems with accuracy and reliability. Multiple techniques may be needed to fully assess the phenomenon. Accuracy is a potential limitation of RTM when compared to other techniques, however, RTM is more reliable than Nnh hot spots due to the inclusion of the environmental backcloth. The findings were discussed in relation to crime prediction and policing efforts.
    Policing and Society 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: After a decade of rapid spending increases under New Labour, this paper seeks to explain the pattern of growth in the range of strategic actions undertaken by police services during that period. Referring to a longitudinal analysis of documents, including annual reports, which related to strategic actions taken by one English police service (Blueshire), the common perception that ‘police mission’ has been subject to expansionary pressures is placed under scrutiny. An analysis is conducted which differentiates between new and cyclical policy issues and whether the strategic response is locally or centrally directed. Content analysis derived data has been supplemented with information secured during interviews with police leaders, to provide greater contextual depth. While it was observed that the capacity of police leaders to focus on core policing roles has, to some extent, been compromised, this cannot be explained purely in terms of central government pressure. The concept of path dependency is used to explain how this has occurred. A discussion is provided of the implications for the strategic direction of policing.
    Policing and Society 05/2014; 24(3).
  • Policing and Society 05/2014; 24(3).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The football banning order was implemented under the Football (Disorder) Act (2000) to target ‘risk supporters’ where the supporter had: (a) previously been involved in football-related disorder; and (b) was likely to be involved in future disorder. Although viewed by the government of the day as a necessary tool to tackle football hooliganism, it was criticised by opponents as draconian due to the restrictive conditions that could be imposed via civil process (on complaint) where no criminal conviction needed to be secured. Despite these ethical concerns, little research has considered how those responsible for the operation of the orders identify and target risk supporters or the impact orders have on the behaviour of risk supporters. This paper aims to redress this gap in the research by presenting the findings of a number of interviews with police officers responsible for the operation of banning orders. The findings show police officers construct narratives that emphasise the need to control risk supporters and suggest banning orders have worked to serve this function. However, closer analysis of the data suggests that the number of banning orders implemented is partially generated by pressure to deliver targets and a desire of officers to justify and preserve their roles. This raises questions about the extent to which pressures to ensure banning orders are issued outweigh any ethical concerns over the use of the legislation.
    Policing and Society 05/2014; 24(3).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Since the 2003 revolution that brought to power President Mikheil Saakashvili, the post-Soviet Republic of Georgia has implemented a major programme of police reforms, including the mass dismissal of corrupt officers, the restructuring of police agencies, and significant changes in recruitment, training, and compensation. The reforms have eliminated many forms of corruption and have transformed what was a criminalised and dysfunctional police force into the most disciplined and service-oriented law enforcement agency in the post-Soviet region. The paper describes the scope and nature of these police reforms, analyses their effectiveness, and explains their origins. The Saakashvili government implemented police reforms as part of a broader agenda of reversing the decay of the Georgian state in the post-Soviet period and reasserting its control of the national territory and its effective independence from Georgia's neighbour, Russia. Police reforms in Georgia were also the product of a revolutionary moment in which the new government could take extraordinary measures to reshape the police. In part because the Georgian government remains domestically and internationally embattled, the reformed police have become closely associated with the Saakashvili presidency. Georgia therefore suggests that we need to rethink the different ways that democracy and state building contribute to successful police reforms.
    Policing and Society 05/2014; 24(3).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study is to establish how well the public distinguishes between different uniformed patrol officer patrolling shopping malls, and whether they have different effects on feelings of safety and worry about crime. It is based on interviews with a sample of 502 shoppers at five shopping malls in Southern England. Using photographs, most respondents correctly identified the police officer and the PCSO, whereas fewer recognised the ACSO and private security guard, and few the ACSO. Police officers instilled the greatest feelings of safety, well above PCSOs, who, in turn, were rated above security guards and ACSOs. Police officers also generated the most worries, especially among young women. Police officers emit ‘control signals’ that have stronger positive effects on reassurance, reflecting correct identification combined with established regard and confidence. Patrol officers who were not police officer provided weaker ‘control signals’. Correct identification made less difference to reassurance they provided, especially for security guards. Police officers appear to be as cost-effective as PCSOs, though far less so than private security officers. Successful ‘reassurance policing’ depends on who carries out the policing as well as what is policed.
    Policing and Society 05/2014; 24(3).
  • Policing and Society 05/2014; 24(3).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article examines issues of legitimacy, professionalisation and expertise in two understudied domains of public sector security provision: municipal and university corporate in-house security. To illustrate how security managers conceive of expertise and to assess the implications of security industry professionalisation for legitimacy, we analyse findings from a study of corporate (or in-house, proprietary) municipal and university security teams in Canada. Our inquiry demonstrates that security personnel in both domains increasingly act as knowledge brokers in security networks, interacting with public police and other authorities for reactive investigations and preventative initiatives. We show how public sector corporate security units index their narratives of legitimacy to claims about expertise and professionalism. We conclude by reflecting on the implications of our findings for understanding security networks and professionalisation of security personnel.
    Policing and Society 04/2014;