European Journal of Policing Studies

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Issue 4, 2018 Expand all abstracts

Aims and Scope

Authors Antoinette Verhage, Lieselot Bisschop, Wim Hardyns e.a.

Antoinette Verhage

Lieselot Bisschop

Wim Hardyns

Dominique Boels

Kamila Medova

Changes in policing to improve service delivery

Authors Garth den Heyer and Louise Porter
Author's information

Garth den Heyer
Dr. Garth den Heyer’s interests include police organizational reform and performance, and police service delivery effectiveness. His works in this area have included evaluations of policing reform, service delivery improvement programmes and interventions and in understanding policing in developing and post-conflict nations.

Louise Porter
Louise Porter is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University, Australia, and member of the Griffith Criminology Institute. Her research on policing focuses on police misconduct and use of force, as well as oversight and integrity management. She has worked with law enforcement agencies both in Australia and overseas on a range of projects, including complaints reduction, police ethics, and establishing a longitudinal study of police use of force.

    Does the ‘left realism’ theory of justice, which acknowledges the importance of crime prevention, but supports the increased involvement of the public and victims in the criminal justice process, pose an option for policy makers to consider for ensuring that crime declines continue and that public trust and confidence in the police can improve? Many police organizations in western democracies have experienced reductions in street and violent crime rates over the last two decades. This enhanced effectiveness, which has been observed in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom since the mid-1990s, has been correlated with the increased use of technology and the employment of proactive, arrest-oriented strategies. In many jurisdictions, resources have been transitioned away from highly touted community policing efforts to investigative and enforcement units. While many law enforcement experts and administrators have viewed these initiatives as a ‘smarter’ form of policing, some advocates for predominantly minority neighborhoods have frequently alleged racial and ethnic bias and other abusive conduct at the hands of the police, most notably in larger metropolitan centers. The purpose of this paper will be to examine and identify practical options for direct community and victim engagement after highlighting legislation and practices that have been shown to increase transparency and police legitimacy in some western democracies. The findings of this review will support the need to enhance public and victim involvement in criminal justice processes as emphasized within the ‘left realism’ perspective.

James F. Albrecht
James F. Albrecht is a Professor of Criminal Justice and Homeland Security at Pace University in New York City, USA. He is a retired New York City Police Department Captain and Commanding Officer, who has many published books and articles on policing, criminal justice reform, and terrorism from an international perspective. (corresp: jimnypd@aol.com)

Organisational learning from field research in policing: How police can improve policy and practice by implementing randomised controlled trials

Keywords Policing, Randomised Controlled Field Trial, Organisational Learning, Police Reform, Evidence Based Policing
Authors Laura Bedford and Peter Neyroud
AbstractAuthor's information

    Organisational Learning (OL) perspectives suggest that all organisations use evidence to adapt and change their policies and practices. The special case of how police organisations adapt and change in response to experiences with the implementation of Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) is, however, not well understood in the extant literature. The value of policing RCTs may, on the one hand, lie in their ability to provide hard evidence or results of ‘what works’ in policing. On the other hand, RCTs may be powerful change processes which serve to generate OL and potential service improvements even in the absence of results. This paper presents an analysis of the results of in-depth interviews conducted in a policing organisation that has implemented a RCT. Using an integrated perspective of OL, we show that processes related to the experience with implementing a RCT may have a specific potential to leverage organisational change.

Laura Bedford
Dr Laura Bedford is lecturer in the School of Justice at the Queensland University of Technology. She holds a PhD in Criminology and has over 25 years’ experience in social and economic policy research and advocacy. Over the past two years, Laura has been employed by the Queensland Police Service to lead a randomised controlled field trial of mobile technology on the policing frontline (corresp: laura.bedford@qut.edu.au).

Peter Neyroud
Dr. Peter Neyroud is a Lecturer in Evidence-based policing in the Jerry Lee Centre for Experimental Criminology at the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge. A police officer for more than 30 years, he was Chief Constable of Thames Valley and CEO of the National Policing Improvement Agency (as CEO). He is the Co-Chair of the Campbell Collaboration Crime and Justice Coordinating Group.

Is managerialism alive and well in the police service?

Keywords Police Governance, New Public Management, New Public Governance, Managerialism
Authors Alan Beckley
AbstractAuthor's information

    The political ideology and philosophy of increased marketization of services provided by the public sector since the 1990s has led to confusion of roles, relationships and values in the wider sector and, in particular, public police services in liberal democracies. Adoption of this approach could lead to less effective provision of police services and thereby diminish community safety and heighten citizens’ fear of crime. This paper will examine the phenomenon of ‘managerialism’ born out of the regime of ‘New Public Management’ which is still rife within operational policing where emphasis on outputs has taken precedence over quality of service and long-held traditions of common-sense law enforcement. The paper will discuss the implications of this phenomenon in relation to effective governance of the public police. Prioritising performance indicators that skew cause and effect and confuse outputs with outcomes and impact have been identified as potential causes for concern in that they may reduce long-term law enforcement or crime prevention benefits, lead to lower public trust and ultimately diminish police legitimacy. After identifying the current situation in Australia relating to this occurrence, the paper will offer some suggestions for consideration and conclusions in this debate which are globally relevant. While police forces must maintain productive performance within quality standards of efficiency, effectiveness and economy set inside continuous improvement of front line services, this must be delivered in a vision complying with the rule of law, police integrity and human rights.

Alan Beckley
Alan Beckley is Adjunct Research Fellow at the School of Social Sciences & Psychology, Western Sydney University; his duties are teaching and research in policing and law enforcement. From 2010-12, Alan was a Senior Lecturer, Policing and Law Enforcement, in the Australian Graduate School of Policing & Security, Charles Sturt University, Sydney, where he taught several post-graduate subject areas, mainly Police Leadership and Management. He formerly served for 30 years as a police officer in the UK, where he published many articles and books on policing subjects. He is an FBI National Academy Graduate from Session 160 (1990) and is currently studying for a PhD with Western Sydney University on the subject of policing, ethics and human rights. (corresp.: alanbeckley2001@yahoo.com)

    The article provides a critical assessment of the reformed structure of police governance in England and Wales. It considers the impact of directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners on the determination of local policing priorities and community interests and contrasts the powers exercised by PCC with that of the police authorities they replaced. It considers the limitations exhibited within the earlier ‘tripartite’ governance of the police in England and Wales and the implications of this for the accountability of the police service. It identifies the significance of the move from highly centralised policing to a fully devolved system which the arrival of PCCs represents. It draws attention to the continuing commitment by central government to devolution particularly in relation to the introduction of directly elected mayors to the Metro areas which are, in the near future, expected to take responsibility for the police service along with other strategic services. It thereafter considers current challenges to police delivery of service arising from both the significant increase in non-criminal incidents to which the police must now respond. It explores the ever increasing engagement of the police in response to mental health incidents in the community. It identifies in relation to this the remarkable increase in the roll out of tasers to the police and the implications of this for the protection of vulnerable members of the community.

Barry Loveday
Barry Loveday is Reader in Criminal Justice Administration at the University of Portsmouth. Barry Loveday has written extensively on police management and accountability. He has worked for two London Think Tanks IPPR and Policy Exchange. In 2005 he was invited to present his assessment of the proposed amalgamation of police forces in England Wales to the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit (corresp: barry.loveday@port.ac.uk).

Policing excellence and prevention first: A model for transforming police service delivery

Keywords change management, efficiency, effectiveness, prevention
Authors Garth den Heyer
AbstractAuthor's information

    In response to the changing operating environment, the New Zealand Police established a change management program called the Comprehensive Approach to Police Excellence. This program became known as Policing Excellence and included eleven separate initiatives designed to facilitate the transfer of policing activities from reactive to preventative policing. It was intended that the implementation of the program would result in the reduction of victimization and offending and would improve community safety. The premise was that police would be better able to manage future demand through the reallocation of resources and the realization of the program’s benefits. By the middle of 2014, the program had achieved a 13 percent reduction in recorded crime and a 19 percent reduction in prosecutions. This article examines the impact that the program has had on the delivery of police services and the level of crime in New Zealand.

Garth den Heyer
Dr. Garth den Heyer is lecturer at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice of Arizona State University. Dr. Garth den Heyer’s interests include police organizational reform and performance, and police service delivery effectiveness. His works in this area have included evaluations of policing reform, service delivery improvement programmes and interventions and in understanding policing in developing and post-conflict nations (corresp: gdenheyer@policefoundation.org).

Transforming a paramilitaristic police force to a human rights-oriented police service in a violent country: The South African challenge

Keywords policing, demilitarization, community policing, sector policing, service delivery, South African Police Service
Authors Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Annalise Kempen
AbstractAuthor's information

    South Africa’s unique history impacted significantly on policing. Prior to democratization in 1994, South Africa was infamous for its apartheid regime. The South African Police (SAP) was a paramilitaristic force, regarded by the majority as a tool of suppression for the white minority government. After the previous political dispensation had been toppled in 1994, South Africa underwent major constitutional changes. The introduction of the South African Police Service Act (Act 68 of 1995), implemented the changes envisaged for a human rights-oriented policing service into a legal framework. This article aims to present an overview of the many service delivery initiatives that were introduced in the new police service. The renaming of the South African Police to the South African Police Service (SAPS) in 1995 is also reflected on in this article. Despite the introduction of community policing principles, revised internal policing policies and demilitarizing, it did not address the underlying violent culture of the South African society. In fact, the question is still whether South Africa will ever be able to introduce and accept a truly human rights-oriented police service?

Christiaan Bezuidenhout
Prof Christiaan Bezuidenhout holds the following degrees: BA (Criminology), BA Honours (Criminology), MA (Criminology), DPhil (Criminology), and an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Oxford. He is currently attached to the Department of Social Work and Criminology, University of Pretoria, where he teaches psychocriminology, criminal justice and contemporary criminology at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Annalise Kempen
Annalise obtained her B Pol Science degree from the University of Pretoria in 1993. In February 1995 she was appointed as news editor at Servamus Policing Magazine. Following the magazine’s privatization, she was appointed as Editor of Servamus Community-based Safety and Security Magazine in 2002. She does weekly radio interviews about safety and security topics.

Changing stop and search in Scotland

Keywords Stop and search, Police Scotland, Procedural justice
Authors Megan O’Neill and Elizabeth Aston
AbstractAuthor's information

    Compared to other areas in the UK, stop and search in Scotland was on a disproportionately large scale prior to 2015 and targeted children and young people. Scottish police officers conducted more non-statutory searches than statutory, putting into question the legitimacy of this tactic. In response to external pressures, a revised approach to stop and search was developed and piloted in the Fife Division of Police Scotland from June 2014 to January 2015. Our evaluation of this pilot found that while some elements were an improvement on current practice, the use of non-statutory searches and disproportionate searches of children continued. Since our evaluation, practice in stop and search in Scotland has undergone dramatic change. This paper will discuss the contribution of the Fife Pilot and our evaluation to changes to stop and search in Scotland. It will consider the relevance of procedural justice to developments in this area of service delivery, which will be of benefit to practitioners and policy makers internationally.

Megan O’Neill
Dr Megan O’Neill is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Dundee. She has an extensive background of policing research in the UK and in the EU. Dr O’Neill’s work has included conducting studies of football policing, Black Police Associations, community policing, partnership working, Police Community Support Officers and stop and search (corresp: m.oneill@dundee.ac.uk).

Elizabeth Aston
Dr Elizabeth Aston is the Director of the Scottish Institute for Policing Research and a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Edinburgh Napier University. Her research focuses on local policing and stop and search, with a particular interest in engagement, partnerships and intersections between criminal justice and other policy areas such as health, e.g. policing and substance use.

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