ArticlePDF Available

Abstract

This article explores new ways in which the police are thinking about, or should be thinking about their role in a plural, neo-liberal, and networked society. It draws on the vision developed by the Nexus Policing Project of the Victoria Police, Australia. This article argues that the public police have clung onto the dream that they are able to monopolise policing. We argue that this is but a dream and that the police need to reconfigure their self-identity and their role definition to fit with the contemporary policing landscape. We explore some real practical implications that this might have for police officers who are constantly under pressure to reinvent themselves. Full text: http://policing.oxfordjournals.org/content/5/3/210.short
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... Moore and Braga (2003), for example, assert that stakeholders should be involved in measuring how the actions of the police contribute to the safety of their communities. An example of this is demonstrated in the Nexus project in Australia where participating police organizations work with communities to determine what they want their police organizations to achieve in relation to community safety, and what their vision of policing is for the 21st century (Shearing and Marks 2011). Similarly, "Measuring what Matters", a federally sponsored project in the US, includes stakeholder engagement as a means of identifying public expectations of the police regarding community safety (Moore 2002;Moore and Braga 2003;Sparrow 2015). ...
... These institutional stakeholders should be drawn from the partners who comprise the community safety constellation and have a stake in working towards safe and healthy communities (see Caputo and McIntyre 2015). These include health care providers, educators, social service providers, and even private security firms (Shearing and Marks 2011). Finally, to address issues of conflict and consensus, unbiased and experienced facilitators would contribute to the governance process (Morley and Trist 1993;Hodgkinson 2018). ...
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... Today, the public police still hold significant symbolic capital within Western security networks, but as Dupont (2004) argues, that was not always the case. As the public police gained political and economic capital during the process of its professionalization, its symbolic capital and the legitimacy for action it granted were acquired progressively, although recent failures of the public police and the pluralization of security providers may point to a contemporary drop in symbolic capital (Shearing & Marks, 2011). After the description of our method, each section of this article will address a specific form of capital (in order, economic, social, political, and cultural) to highlight the constitutive role of online visibility within the vigilante activities undertaken by The Judge. ...
... In policing networks, political capital "relates to a node's ability to influence public policy and use government resources" (Huey et al., 2013, p. 84) and "derives from the proximity of actors to the machinery of government and their capacity to influence or direct this machinery toward their own objectives" (Dupont, 2004, p. 85). In Western societies, political capital has been acquired and maintained by public institutions that enjoy the advantageous position of being mandated by the State (Shearing & Marks, 2011). Hence, "by comparison, private security providers are relatively poor in political capital" (Dupont, 2004, p. 85), although this has changed in recent years especially in the American political and economic context (Kinsey, 2016). ...
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This article examines the constitutive role of mediated visibility in the emergence of contemporary vigilante initiatives. Here, visibility is conceptualized as a “heuristic device” to understand social phenomena, as well as a lever for organizations to acquire various forms of capital. The article uses the case of The Judge Beauce—a Canadian organization created in 2015 to fight against child abusers—to understand how vigilante collectives can lever mediated visibility, and online visibility in particular, to acquire specific forms of policing capital (economic, social, political, and cultural). Results show that mediated visibility was indeed crucial for raising funds, constituting vigilant/e publics, and defining vigilante identities, relations, and practices. Yet, as a “double-edged sword,” mediated visibility brought on public scrutiny that simultaneously resulted in a series of liabilities. Finally, this article contends that vigilantism in the digital age should be defined as the enactment of power im(balances) through the instrumentalization of mediated visibility rather than considering force or the threat of its use as its main feature.
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This article describes the police intelligence division-of-labour. It is argued that police organisation gains overall coherence in relation to the ‘police métier’; a rationale that allows protagonists in the police world to make sense of an irrational workplace structure where personal loyalty, trust and honour (not formal organisational logic) form the basis of action and compliance. The concept of the police métier is defined in terms of the police professional concern with the mastery of surveillance and coercion in the reproduction of order, the making of crime and the governance of insecurity, and it is the polestar of the police mindset. The article describes the police intelligence division-of-labour paying specific attention to four different aspects of intelligence activity: the acquisition of intelligence or information; the analysis of information in the production of intelligence; tasking and co-ordination on the basis of intelligence ‘product’; or being tasked on that same basis. The descriptive analysis presented here is useful in several respects. Firstly it provides a basis for the comparative study of police intelligence work and its configuration within broader processes of security governance. Secondly, it provides a prototypical organisational map useful understanding the orientation of particular units – the organisational elements of policework (e.g. of drug squads, primary response, public order and homicide investigation units) – within the broader police division-of-labour. Lastly, it provides a complex view of issues concerning democratic governance of ‘the police’ as they are configured as nodes within broader networks of security governance.
... One issue not addressed in this study is whether contemporary policing arrangements need to be re-imagined, re-invented or somehow transformed so that non-core policing roles are undertaken by non-police organisations (Shearing andMarks 2011, Millie andBullock 2013). The question of whether other organisations might be better poised to carry out these non-core duties was beyond the scope of the current research. ...
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Dutch policies concerning 'integral' (or 'integrated') safety-involving all sorts of welfare and criminal justice organizations into the management of public order (cf. Boutellier, 2001)-are fraught with contradictions and ambiguities. We are witnessing a strong emphasis on the local delivery of community policing and, more broadly, community safety programs that combine welfare ('care') and criminal justice ('policing') policies. As a result, municipalities in the Netherlands are seeking a prominent role in the local governance of welfare and security, as they are increasingly held responsible for carrying out integral safety programs. This chapter aims at an understanding of the complex dynamics of integral community safety policies. In the following pages, I focus on the case of so-called 'Flying Squads' (Vliegende Brigades), previously piloted in Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands. These squads, which play an intermediate role in integral safety, combine policing and welfare sector responsibilities for diminishing or solving 'minor' offences such as littering, loitering, and public drunkenness in the urban public domain. My findings are based on evaluative fieldwork carried out between July and October 2010 in Amsterdam. Although the empirical data are somewhat dated (the pilot has further developed over the years), lessons can still be drawn about the initial implementation of the Flying Squads. Community safety programs, such as the Flying Squads, typically promise experimental action characterized by a novel sense of togetherness. At the very least, the bringing together of divergent welfare and criminal justice rationalities assumes 'spontaneity and creative freedom' (Boutellier 2013: 158) as drivers of institutional change. However, in studying how Flying Squads have been implemented, this chapter highlights an overemphasis on a 'top-down' approach that hampers the agility and liveliness required for local security governance to run smoothly. In presenting my argument, I first address changes in Dutch community policing in relation to the widening web of integral safety programs. This change displays tendencies resonant with the growing prominence of initiatives such as the Flying Squads around the country. I then focus on the squads employed by the city of Amsterdam. Flying Squads illustrate an empirical expression of emerging social ordering practices within highly complex and volatile circumstances. After describing the phased approach of the Flying Squads, I present detailed information on how the teams function. Findings from this evaluation are placed within the context of the wider literature on local policing and community safety in the Netherlands and abroad.
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Technical Report
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As part of a proactive strategy that examines the economics of policing in the Canadian context, a key goal of this study is to review the economics, management, and policing literatures to identify current trends in respect to the relationships between economics and policing, including how police services in other nations have managed austerity. The main findings from this review are that:  There were 11 recessions between 1948 and 2011 and each one had a different set of causes, economic consequences, as well as recovery times and these three factors influence crime rates in an inconsistent manner. The global economic recovery has been slow and another downturn could have a significant impact upon the Canadian economy, and in turn, police funding. Police services in the United Kingdom and the United States have responded to the latest recession by streamlining operations and attempting to reduce demand. While police services in other nations have been successful in preserving core functions after budget cuts there is some question as to whether these strategies are sustainable over the long-term. Long-term austerity policing may negatively influence citizen perceptions of the police and has been shown to reduce the morale of police service staff in the United Kingdom.  Cost-benefit analyses consistently reveal that investing in policing is a cost-effective public policy. Recent research demonstrates that officer effectiveness can be enhanced through directed patrol or “hot spots” policing. The RAND cost of crime calculator shows that adding police officers in jurisdictions with high crime rates is a good investment in public safety. Applying the RAND calculator to Saskatchewan policing shows a return of $1.70 for every additional dollar spent on police officers. Deploying officers in traffic enforcement roles demonstrates a greater cost saving benefit to society than in general duty policing. Crime reduction strategies must be developed at the local level, as an approach that is effective in one jurisdiction may be unsuccessful when exported to another community. The current recession has led to many scholars calling for a “reengineering” or “re-making” of police operations although there is little consensus on what those changes should entail or who should decide what changes should occur. Most policing studies focus upon big city policing and there is almost no published research on best practices, cost effectiveness or measuring the performance of rural police services.
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This article asks how we might best come to terms with - and seek to govern - the multiplicity of institutional forms that are now involved in the delivery of policing and security services and technologies. I begin by documenting briefly the network of providers that constitute the policing field locally, nationally and transnationally, before specifying how the fragmentation and pluralization of policing has called radically into doubt a number of received (liberal) suppositions about the relationship between police and government. I then attempt - drawing constructively yet critically on recent theorizations of governance and ‘governmentality’ - to make sense of some contemporary reconfigurations of policing within and beyond the state, and tease out their implications for questions of democratic legitimacy. Finally, I outline the contours of an institutional politics for the regulation of policing that is both normatively adequate to the task of connecting policing to processes of public will-formation and sociologically plausible under the altered conditions of plural, networked policing.
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The past decade has witnessed a remarkable expansion and globalisation of the private security sector. These developments mark the emergence of public—private, global—local security networks that play increasingly important roles in global governance. Rather than representing a simple retreat of the state, security privatisation is a part of broad processes in which the role of the state — and the nature and locus of authority — is being transformed and rearticulated. Often presented as apolitical, as the mere effect of market forces and moves towards greater efficiency in service delivery, the authority conferred on private actors can alter the political landscape and in the case of private security has clear implications for who is secured and how. The operation and impact of public/private, global/local security networks is explored in the context of security provision in Cape Town, South Africa.
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In this paper we present a "routine activity approach" for analyzing crime rate trends and cycles. Rather than emphasizing the characteristics of offenders, with this approach we concentrate upon the circumstances in which they carry out predatory criminal acts. Most criminal acts require convergence in space and time of likely offenders, suitable targets and the absence of capable guardians against crime. Human ecological theory facilitates an investigation into the way in which social structure produces this convergence, hence allowing illegal activities to feed upon the legal activities of everyday life. In particular, we hypothesize that the dispersion of activities away from households and families increases the opportunity for crime and thus generates higher crime rates. A variety of data is presented in support of the hypothesis, which helps explain crime rate trends in the United States 1947-1974 as a byproduct of changes in such variables as labor force participation and single-adult households.
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This study examines the roles of family variables (authoritarian and authoritative parenting, family disharmony) and school variables (liking school, perceived control of bullying and school hassles) in discriminating non-bully/non-victims, victims and bullies. Participants were parents and their children aged 9–12 years (N = 610). Data were analyzed using ANOVA and discriminant function analysis (DFA). Two significant functions emerged, both of which appeared important in discriminating children according to their bullying status. Together they allowed for the correct classification of 76% of the non-bully/non-victims, 57% of victims, and 61% of bullies. The main conclusion is that family and school systems working together may provide the most effective means of intervention for bullying problems.
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The post-war years in Canada have witnessed what can fairly be described as a quiet revolution in our country's policing and social control systems. To the general public, the major manifestation of this change has been the transformation of the public police through more sophisticated management techniques and the introduction of elaborate technology. But at the forefront of the changes which are taking place in the arrangements for policing in our society is a phenomenon whose growth has only occasionally received public attention, and has only recently become the subject of serious study by criminologists and others traditionally concerned with developments in policing and social control. This is the phenomenon of private security.
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Focusing upon the trajectory of emergence of reassurance policing, this article seeks to interrogate the symbolic and material dimensions of contemporary policing reform programmes. It considers how a need for something labelled ‘Reassurance Policing’ was identified and the various social forces that coalesced to bring it into being. Exploring the contested meanings of reassurance policing, the article details how it has come to be defined as a strategy composed of three constitutive components: high visibility patrols performed by officers who are known to the local public; the targeting of ‘signal crimes’ and ‘signal disorders’; and informal social control performed by communities. The article concludes by postulating what the emergence of the reassurance policing perspective indicates about the future of policing reform.
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Against a backdrop of uncertainty created by an escalating and unmet public demand for police protection, and the reemergence of unregulated commercial security, this paper has three aims. First, it outlines the developments in security provision currently unfolding in Britain and reviews some of the responses that have been made. It then develops a critique of recent suggestions that private security is best countered by introducing novel ways of meeting the public demand for a visible police patrol presence. Finally, it proffers an alternative way of responding to the commodification of security, one suggesting that the concept of private security is in fact an oxymoron.
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Drawing on research work conducted in the city of Durban, this article demonstrates that, to a large extent, policing functions are being carried out by agents other than the police. The article explores community safety groupings operating in three diverse areas in the greater Durban area. We demonstrate in this article that these groups have divergent mentalities and technologies, but that they share common goals and outcomes. We argue that community cohesion and social action have a positive impact on localised feelings of safety and pride of place. What we also show is that there appears to be a shared understanding on the part of the police and community groupings that the police should operate as ‘minimalist’ actors. We argue that instead of trying to be all things to all people – the hub of broad security governance – the state police should hone in on their core functions and intervene when communities request such intervention. This would allow the police to be more effective, community oriented and targeted in the work they do.
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The fourth edition of the popular and highly acclaimed Politics of the Police has been completely revised and updated to take into account of recent changes in the law, policy, and organization of policing. From Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry to Life on Mars, Robert Reiner explores the highly-charged debates that surround policing, including the various controversies and developments that have led to a change in the public's opinion of the police in recent years, and analyses the proposals for reform. The book sets out to analyze how the police are perceived and the impact the mass media has on the public's perception and what we can expect in the future, given current research into police working practices and proposals for reform.