European Journal of Policing Studies

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Issue 0, 2012 Expand all abstracts


Authors Antoinette Verhage, Lieselot Bisschop and Wim Hardyns

Antoinette Verhage

Lieselot Bisschop

Wim Hardyns

Joanna Shapland
Professor Joanna Shapland is Professor of Criminal Justice and Director of the Centre for Criminological Research, University of Sheffield, UK (Corresp.: J.M.Shapland@sheffield.ac.uk). From 2001 to 2008, she directed the evaluation of three restorative justice schemes in England and Wales, funded by the Home Office (later the Ministry of Justice), together with Anne Atkinson, Helen Atkinson, Becca Chapman, Emily Colledge, James Dignan, Lucy Edwards, Jeremy Hibbert, Marie Howes, Jennifer Johnstone, Gwen Robinson and Angela Sorsby.

    The police institution may appear to be a coherent organization geared to one specific paradigm. In practice it can be almost a different organization operating with diverse paradigms at different times. Or it can become an arena for competing paradigms, suffering from a “multiple personality syndrome” with a shifting diversity in values, structure and culture. Some three decades endeavouring to change traditional styles of policing have displayed periodic oscillation back to “real policing”. This continual shifting around the definition of policing can especially impact on attempts to implement the movement towards “community oriented policing” (COP). It is asserted here that COP is vulnerable to swings back to what some see as the core paradigm of policing – centred on crime control and maintaining order. This paper traces the dynamic of competing paradigms while seeking a solution in “honest” policing with COP at its core.

Maurice Punch
Visiting Professor: Mannheim Centre for Criminology, London School of Economics, and School of Law, King’s College London (Corresp.: punch@xs4all.nl).

    The article will analyse the concept of community policing in Norway. The analyses will mainly be based on three important publications, the white-paper “The Role of the Police in Society” from 1981, “The Police reform 2000. A Safer Society” from 2000 and “The Role and Tasks of the Police” published in 2005. The concept community policing, which to a high degree is American, is not easily translatable to Nordic languages. In Norway in the 80s and early 90s the term near police “nærpoliti” or local police was popular, and primarily used to describe organisational reforms in eastern parts of Oslo and certain other towns of Norway. The term is to a certain degree still in use at least in official publications, but it has in many ways changed in content and meaning. Holmberg (2004) has described the rise and fall of community policing in Scandinavia. His general description of a loss of momentum and recession in the development of community policing is supported here. This paper starts out with the hypotheses that the idea of community policing gradually lost its importance in Norway for two reasons. The first explanation has to do with the still rather strong and popular local police, the Lensmann (sheriff). Norway, which is a largely rural society, is divided into 374 sheriff districts. This means that the sheriff is a well known person and institution for many Norwegians. This type of community policing has a tradition that stretches back more than a thousand years. The other reason is that the general ideals and goals stated in official publications and papers for the Norwegian police harmonise to a very high degree with the ideals of community policing. This means that the idea of community policing already is deeply rooted as a central value concerning the police.

Paul Larsson
Professor at the Norwegian Police University College (Politihøgskolen) (Corresp.: paul.larsson@phs.no).

    In discussions of contemporary urban restructuring and claims about the emergence of new forms of urbanism, issues of crime control and community safety loom large as we witness significant changes in the nature of policing in urban areas. In particular, there has been the emergence of a more complex division of labour in the field of policing with phrases like the ‘extended policing family’, the ‘mixed economy of policing’ and local security networks’ increasingly used to capture the diversity of public, private and voluntary providers of policing services. It is against this background that this paper considers the introduction, role, impact and implications of Community Wardens within Scotland. Introduced in 2004 and employed by local authorities Community Wardens have responsibility for providing high visibility patrols to deter crime and anti-social behaviour as well tackling environmental issues like graffiti and vandalism. After setting out the wider policy context within which wardens are located, the paper draws on ethnographic fieldwork in one city (Dundee), to consider the wider implications of the use of Community Wardens in relation to three key questions that have been the focus of government urban policy in Scotland and the rest of the UK. First, to what extent has the introduction of Wardens contributed to a process of urban renaissance by making cities more attractive places to live and work? Second, how far have Wardens managed to narrow the so-called ‘reassurance gap’ that has emerged in UK cities as crime rates fall but peoples’ anxieties and fears about crime continue to increase? Third, can Wardens play a role in restoring relationship between individuals within communities and between communities and their local environment?

Donna Marie Brown
Lecturer in Urban Geography, University of Dundee (Corresp.: d.m.y.brown@dundee.ac.uk).

Nicholas R. Fyfe
Professor of Human Geography and Director of the Scottish Institute for Policing Research, University of Dundee.

    The Slovenian security sector has significantly changed and developed in the last two decades. Surprisingly, it was not the police force that mainly characterised this period of changes, but rather non-state security providers who prepared grounds to develop a plural instead of historically prevailed mono policing society. The whole process was rather specific since Slovenia became an independent state less than 20 years ago and it had to change its economic and political system from socialism to the western type of liberal democracy. In this regard, even the security sector did not remain untouched, and the process of privatisation and commercialisation of once a state controlled function began very early. If there was in the beginning of the process only one public police organisation and one state-owned (“private”) security firm, twenty years later, there is one public police organisation with around 8.500 police officers, 117 private security firms with around 6.200 security officers, as well as other security/policing providers, like private detectives and municipal/city wardens. The concept “plural police family” is actually even broader, there are some institutions that were not established for the purpose of policing, but their tasks, nature of work and special powers make them just that – another policing provider in society and in this regard, the customs service and judicial police also need to be mentioned. Nevertheless, the crucial relationship remains the one between the public police and private security firms, who together still represent the most numerous and most influential providers of security and social control in the Slovenian society. As some studies show, these relations are not perfect but also not conflictive or competitive, allowing enough space for further cooperation that strongly depend on the position of the public police as the central and dominant actor in the security sector

Andrej Sotlara
Dr. Andrej Sotlar is Assistant Professor of Security Systems, Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security, University of Maribor, Slovenia (Corresp. andrej.sotlar@fvv.uni-mb.si).

    This paper deals with an international comparison of the police patrollers’ socialisation in France and in England. We will first state some common features of the police socialisation process between France and England, and we will then highlight significant differences based on the findings of an intensive qualitative fieldwork. The French police recruit is notably socialised through a perception of a dangerous job, the crime fighting dogma, and he learns to deal with an unfriendly environment and a mistrust relationship with people. Whereas his English counterpart’s socialisation process emphasizes empathy for victims, communication as a core source and force as the very last resource. Taking from this insightful knowledge of police socialisation (and thus of police culture in England and in France), we finally discuss the English and French police stands towards the community policing model, especially showing how problematic this model is when relating to French police culture.

Damien Cassan
Post doctoral fellow School of Criminology of Monreal University (Canada) and Clersé of University of Lille 1 (France) (Corresp.: damiencassan@gmail.com).

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