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Plural Policing: The Mixed Economy of Visible Patrols in England and Wales

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Plural Policing: The Mixed Economy of Visible Patrols in England and Wales

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... Besides the regular police, a growing number of both public and private security officers are conducting surveillance activities and in some cases even rule enforcement, in both public and in quasipublic places. According to Crawford et al. (2005) this process may be described as a pluralisation of policing. The presence of all these new security patrols, different as they are, such as city wardens, police assistants, private security workers, neighbourhood guards, parking police, swimming pool attendants, park guards, traffic surveillance officers, public transport control guards or whatever they may be called, is to a large degree motivated by the call of many citizens for more visible surveillance in the public space. ...
... First, it was seen as a possible answer to the situation that had arisen, not only in the UK but also in the Netherlands, that since the mid 1990s crime risks have generally been on the decline, but nevertheless, large numbers of citizens perceived crime as a serious and growing problem. Concepts like the 'reassurance gap' or 'reassurance paradox' (Crawford et al., 2005) have been introduced to describe this discrepancy. After years in which the dominant discourse on police reform in the UK centered around such concepts as 'intelligence-led policing' and 'zero tolerance' and the associated 'tough' methods of policing, more recently there has been a revival of interest in more 'soft' police practices, previously associated with 'community policing' (Innes, 2006). ...
... To date, the PRVE arena have been examined most extensively within studies of policing, security and terrorism (Heath-Kelly, 2017;Salter, 2011) rather than in social movement scholarship. The international trend of pluralization and outsourcing of policing and security has been attended to in criminology and policing studies for at least two decades, showing how a diversity of actors outside law enforcement are being engaged in crime control (Crawford et al., 2005;Loader, 2000), similar to what we observe in the PRVE arena. Relatedly, for more than a decade now, the ways in which counter-terrorism policies impact social policy and other areas of society have been examined by security and terrorism scholars (Balzacq, 2011;Ragazzi, 2017). ...
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Since the early 2000s, governments in many Western democracies have introduced policies and practices to prevent radicalization and violent extremism (PRVE). This has led to the formation of a new policy arena in which an increased number of actors are tasked with PRVE work. The diverse set of actors and methods involved affect social movements in new and complex ways, but also challenges the established knowledge and analytical focus of research on the repression of social movements. In this article, we propose a conceptual framework that attends to the causes, content and consequences of protest control. We use it to examine interaction between actors in the PRVE arena and to highlight issues that are underexplored in repression research. To elucidate these issues, we use empirical examples from our own research on measures to counter extremist milieus in the Nordic countries and the UK.
... Nor did they elicit clear-cut feelings of security, safety and respect in more general terms, especially compared to the police. Indeed, in this regard the survey suggests that, if anything, the level of reassurance offered by private security officers has actually fallen somewhat since the studies performed by Crawford et al. (2005) and Rowland and Coupe (2014). Reflecting on these findings in October 2020, the Chief Executive of the Security Institute acknowledged that 'the average citizen in the UK pays little to no attention to what a security officer is doing'. ...
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This article is among the first to explore the role and status of the private security industry during the Covid-19 pandemic. Focusing on the UK case, it illustrates how even though most private security officers were designated as ‘critical workers’ in this time of crisis, performing a range of functions essential to national infrastructure and law and order, the public have been slow or reluctant to recognise the contribution of the sector. It argues that this disposition is reflective of a longstanding public ambivalence or unease towards the private security industry which can ultimately be traced to the state-centric sociological terrain of the policing field.
... Both were critical elements for the programme to introduce neighbourhood policing across England and Wales in 2008, as although the BCS at that time indicated that crime had been falling since a historic high in 1995, successive surveys were still showing that public perceptions persisted that crime was rising (Millie & Herrington, 2005, p. 41) and that victimisation risks were increasing (Robinson, 2006, p. 9). This is what Crawford et al (2005) referred to as the reassurance paradox, which stubbornly endured despite high police officer numbers and more police staff at the time. Importantly, and as mentioned before, members of the public were becoming concerned about more than just conventional types of crime, and their focus was increasingly turning to the impact and effect of low-level incivilities and anti-social behaviour. ...
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The chapter discusses a brief history of community policing in the USA and UK, as well as the influence of Charles Bahn and his concept of reassurance policing. A review of the introduction of neighbourhood policing in England & Wales is provided and the use of PCSOs to improve levels of public confidence and satisfaction. Finally, a discussion of Project Genesis (a case study of neighbourhood policing in Dorset Police) is provided, discussing the key lessons learned from independent obervations of operational neighbourhood police officers and PCSOs.
... This broad view of regulation and plurality is consistent with the viewfound in scholarship on the 'policing web' (Brodeur 2010), plural policing (Loader 2000, Crawford et al. 2005) and multilateral policing (Bayley and Shearing 2001) that the public police are only one entity among many that work to influence the flow of events, and that the police need not, and do not, rely on coercion and enforcement of the law all of the time, even if that is what they have been trained and socialised to do (Friedman 2020). It could be said then that the conditions for de-centring the police and bringing other institutions into the centre of our lens already exist, but we fail to see them well. ...
... Stress was a common denominator as staff sought to meet the challenges of uncertainty in the workplace, use of new technology and for many, striving to balance the responsibilities of work, family and home life. Police staff have largely been absent from the police studies literature other than the various references made to them as 'other actors' in the 'extended police family' discourse associated with studies of plural policing (Crawford et al., 2005;Johnston, 2003). Overall, as Foster noted (2003, p. 212) we know little about police staff perceptions, attitudes and ways of working. ...
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This online survey (N = 2365) examined the experiences of (non-sworn/non-warranted) staff serving in police forces in England and Wales during the March to July COVID-19 virus lockdown in the UK. Particular attention was paid to staff working from home, those able to partially work from home and those who remained at work in their usual police location. Home working staff were generally less stressed than those remaining partially or totally at their work location. Public interacting staff were particularly stressed. Regression analyses found that for all staff, irrespective of location, tiredness and finding work more difficult were implicated in increased stress. For those remaining at their place of work homeschooling and lacking preparedness for another lockdown were additional stressors. The importance of feeling valued is discussed. Some recommendations are offered in the light of these findings including the concept of moral injury repair.
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This paper examines ‘auxiliary’ police in three European countries and the extent to which they continue to present a pluralisation of public sector policing. Examining findings from existing empirical research, we will argue that despite different origins, systems of governance, formal powers and levels of centralisation, the police auxiliaries in England & Wales, France and The Netherlands have all experienced an overall trend towards becoming more ‘enforcement-orientated’. This unique comparative analysis measures each agency's powers, appearance, organisational dimensions and mandate and the associated drivers towards change, such as the politicisation of law and order, large-scale institutional transformations and professionalisation attempts. This analysis will have implications for pluralised policing scholarship as it questions the extent to which auxiliary officers provide a true alternative to the standard or national public policing mandate, which has historically highlighted the ‘law and order’ function of the police. It also highlights the lack of research on what ‘policing by government’ ( Loader, 2000 ) looks like in practice and the need for further comparative research with these auxiliary state policing actors.
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The modern-day concept of community policing has its roots in the concept of reassurance policing, a notion proposed by the American psychologist Bahn (Criminology 12(5):338–345, 1974), who sought to define the concept in terms of a subjective feeling of safety, instead of seeking objective measures such as crime statistics or numbers of arrests (Millie, Reassurance policing and signal crimes. In G. Bruinsma, & D. Weisburd (Eds.), Encyclopaedia of criminology and criminal justice (pp. 4327–4335). New York: Springer, 2014, p. 2). Although community policing practices were not widely implemented in the years following Bahn’s writings, due to the dominance of a performance-based police culture in North America and the UK, things changed in the early 1990s when community-orientated policing started to receive strong federal support in North America (Moraff 2015) and simultaneously found favour with the Home Office in London (Singer 2004).
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Police officers are required to make crucial life and death decisions in relation to themselves, colleagues, or members of the public. On many occasions this decision making process is undertaken during extremely stressful conditions. It is imperative that when force is used it is proportionate, lawful, accountable, and necessary. The use of force is a necessary tool for police officers and can conflict, albeit justifiably, with their moral obligation to protect life and preserve order. The attitude and behaviour of the officer in responding in an appropriate manner can impact how a society perceives whether their human rights are being protected or abused. This ultimately reflects upon public confidence in policing. This Chapter looks at the legal and police processes around the use of Force. For instance, Article 2 of the European Charter of Human Rights protects citizens’ “Right to Life”. Most police forces have a Code of Ethics around the use of Force. The use of force is also defined in statute and the test cases mentioned here, Beckford v The Queen” and Forrester v Leckey state a police officer’s obligations. The Case of McCann (1995) involving IRA members in Gibraltar also sets this out.
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Ronald Clarke (1995) characterises "access control" as an important technique of situational crime prevention (SCP), aimed at reducing criminal opportunities. This refers to "measures intended to exclude potential offenders from places such as offices, factories, and apartment buildings." (id.: 110). One type of access control consists simply of making access less convenient. Clarke cites a road-closure scheme for a former red-light district in North London, that prevented potential customers from soliciting sexual favours of local women from their cars. The scheme did not prohibit anyone from entering the district, but merely made access less easy by putting up impediments to automobile travel. Another type of access control, however, involves true exclusion: the person is barred entirely from entering the area,and faces sanctions of some kind if he enters. It is this kind of strategy which most plainly raises questions of freedom of movement, and it is this strategy which our essay addresses.
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What became established as Neighbourhood Policing in the United Kingdom was, to a significant extent, informed by its quasi-experimental predecessor the National Reassurance Policing Programme. In this chapter the key conceptual and practical contributions that the National Reassurance Policing Programme made to the formulation of Neighbourhood Policing are laid out. It is asserted that what the trialling of Reassurance Policing did was to establish a more structured and systematic delivery model, when compared with previous iterations of community policing. In engaging with these themes, the chapter also explores how and why the initial moves to revive this style of community policing engendered resistance in some sectors and how this was overcome.
Article
The British government has initiated a national strategy for neighborhood renewal, with particular focus on social exclusion. The strategy involves three main policy approaches, namely, national mainstream policies, area programs, and government cross-disciplinary action teams. These three approaches are expected to address such issues as health, education, and social services.
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in this first major empirical study of its kind, the authors examine the growth of 'private' policing and its relationship with, and implications for, the public police service. Beginning with a critique of the sociology of policing, the authors then provide a detailed analysis of the concepts of public and private, and examine the boundaries between different forms of policing. Using data from the first ever survey of the private security sector in Britain, the authors provide estimates of the numbers of employees and firms in the industry; the range of services and products offered; and the attitudes of those at senior levels in private security organizations. Competing theoretical explanations for the growth of private policing are then considered. The book then examines policing at the local level. Using a case study of the London Borough of Wandsworth, the authors examine the range of individuals and organizations involved in policing on the ground. They describe and analyse the activities of the full range of 'policing' bodies, including the public police force, investigatory and regulatory agencies attached to national and local government, and private security organizations. Using this analysis, the authors offer a thorough reconceptualization of what is meant by 'policing' in the late modern era, and consider the implications of this for the public police service and for the future of policing generally. Readership: This book will be invalu