Policing

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What is policing? Who are the police?

Reiner: 

" a set of activities directed at preserving the security of a particular social order" 

Bittner: 

police work is responding to ctizen concerns that... "something that ought not to be happening and about which someone had better do somthing now!"

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Policing can be carries out by various people.

  • Professionals employed by state organised with policing mandate.
  • professional employedb y state agencies concerned primarily with other services.
  • Pro.s. employed by specialist private policing firms. 
  • security personnel hired by an organisation whose main business is something else. 
  • citizens acting in a voluntary capacity within police organisations
  • citizens acting in association with police organisations.
  • citizens acting in completely voulnteer bodies.
  • State bodies with other prime functions. 
  • State or private employees as an adjunct of thier main jobs. 
  • Techonlogy.
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Policing can be carries out by various people.

  • Professionals employed by state organised with policing mandate.
  • professional employedb y state agencies concerned primarily with other services.
  • Pro.s. employed by specialist private policing firms. 
  • security personnel hired by an organisation whose main business is something else. 
  • citizens acting in a voluntary capacity within police organisations
  • citizens acting in association with police organisations.
  • citizens acting in completely voulnteer bodies.
  • State bodies with other prime functions. 
  • State or private employees as an adjunct of thier main jobs. 
  • Techonlogy.
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Public Police:

  • Professionals emplyed by a state organisation with a policing mandate. 
  • Have extensive legal powers. 
  • Police and crime evidence Act 1984 (PACE): designed to balance powers of the police with the rights and freedoms of the general public. 
  • Autonomous decision makers with an enormous amount of discretion (able to decide what to do in the situation) 
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Public Police:

  • Professionals emplyed by a state organisation with a policing mandate. 
  • Have extensive legal powers. 
  • Police and crime evidence Act 1984 (PACE): designed to balance powers of the police with the rights and freedoms of the general public. 
  • Autonomous decision makers with an enormous amount of discretion (able to decide what to do in the situation) 
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Role of the Police:

Its massively complex: 

  • involves huge discretion. 
  • involes a wide variety of methods and tasks.
  • many of these tasks are vague.
  • different responsibilities often conflict with one another.
  • much of their work is reactive. 
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1. Discretion:

  • Policing involves enourmous discretion. 
  • EVERY decision they make is discretionary: 
  • - answering calls.
  • - writing reports.
  • - making arrests.
  • - detaining suspects in custody.
  • - deciding it/what evidence to collect etc. 
  • the myth of 'full enforcement'
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1. Discretion:

  • Policing involves enourmous discretion. 
  • EVERY decision they make is discretionary: 
  • - answering calls.
  • - writing reports.
  • - making arrests.
  • - detaining suspects in custody.
  • - deciding it/what evidence to collect etc. 
  • the myth of 'full enforcement'
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2. Wide variety of tasks:

five key areas of police work: 

  • crime prevention and detection
  • answering and responding to calls for service.
  • public reassurance and public order maintenance
  • community relations and dealing with community problems 
  • traffic control and related matters. 

only some of these duties will require criminal law enforcement. 

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2. Wide variety of tasks:

five key areas of police work: 

  • crime prevention and detection
  • answering and responding to calls for service.
  • public reassurance and public order maintenance
  • community relations and dealing with community problems 
  • traffic control and related matters. 

only some of these duties will require criminal law enforcement. 

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3. vague tasks

  • different situations some require police intervention some do not. 
  • situations which may cause police to responde differently. 
  • differnet laws applied in different situations adn circumstances.
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4. Conflicting responsibilities:

  • maintaining order vs protecting individual rights. 
  • community policing vs crackdowns
  • public expectation bs force directives 
  • conflict at different levels: 
  • - societal
  • - organisational 
  • - community 
  • - incidents 
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4. Conflicting responsibilities:

  • maintaining order vs protecting individual rights. 
  • community policing vs crackdowns
  • public expectation bs force directives 
  • conflict at different levels: 
  • - societal
  • - organisational 
  • - community 
  • - incidents 
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5. Reactive Policing:

police learn about crimes through: 

1. Citizen reports 

2. Police officer observations.

3. Police-initiated investigations. 

most police work is reactive. 

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"the dark figure"

Coleman: 

  • a crime that is unreported. 
  • find out this crime by using self reports studies to complete anonymous surveys. 
  • 43% of crime is unreported.
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Variations in crime reporting:

  • reporting varies in accordance to the crime, and victim.
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Decisions to report crimes:

  • whether you can trust/ rely on the police. 
  • the confdence had in the police. 
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Methods of policing:

law enforcement:

  • investigate criminal activities
  • arrest prepetrators
  • gather evidence
  • interrogate suspects
  • serve warrants. 

Order maintanance:

  • interven in noisy parties 
  • force a panhandler to vacate an area
  • quell a riot or disorder
  • investigate a suspicious person or vehicle. 

Miscellaneous service: 

  • assist stranded or lost motorists
  • provide assistance during medical emergency
  • provide information to citizens 


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Patrol: backbone of policing

  • patrol is the main method of (reactive) policing: 
  • - answering calls 
  • - maintaining a police presence to deter crime
  • - probing suspicios circumstances
  • reassuring the public. 
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Critique of reactive policing:

1) downplays the role of the genreal public in police work.  2) relationship with general public sufferes.  3) stereotyping/ racial profiling.  4) focus on 'hard' measure of police performance.

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History and context of proactive policing:

principle of english policing: 

Reith 1952: 

"police are public and that the public are the police" 

" police being only memebrs of public being paid to give full time attention to duties which are inncumbent on every citizen in the interest of the community" 

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key ideas:

  • reduce the distance between police and policed. 
  • foot patrol and visibility important 
  • prevention better than detection 
  • enhance trust, confidence and information
  • community engagement. 
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Problem-Oriented Policing (POP)

Goldstein (1990):

  • policing incident-driven
  • need to tackle problems (causes of incidents, series and clusters.
  • scan, analyse, respone, assess. 
  • popularised by home office 
  • integrated within community police - evaluations mixed, but supported. 
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Broken Windows:

Wilson and Kelling (1982) 

  • assertive tackling of incivilities
  • disorder - fear - crime
  • influential - NYPD
  • targeting physical and social disorder can influence crime rates. 
  • good political rhetoric. 

Diagram: 

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Chicago policing strategy:

  • launched 1933 - 5 districs, then whole city in 1995. 
  • 1,000 extra officers - foot patrol - beat metting - community engagement - focus on problem rather than incidents - multiagency - community training. 

Skogan (2007): 

  • Police and community in chicago. African-american neighbourhoods most gain, whites next, latinos least. 
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Chicago policing strategy:

  • launched 1933 - 5 districs, then whole city in 1995. 
  • 1,000 extra officers - foot patrol - beat metting - community engagement - focus on problem rather than incidents - multiagency - community training. 

Skogan (2007): 

  • Police and community in chicago. African-american neighbourhoods most gain, whites next, latinos least. 
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Neighbourhood policing:

  • government programmes. 
  • delivery mechanisms - visibility, engagement, problem solving. 
  • officers assigned to neighbourhoods. 
  • integrated extended policing famils - bridge builders/ junior cops.
  • neighbourhood management - paternership, production of saftey. 
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Neighbourhood policing:

  • government programmes. 
  • delivery mechanisms - visibility, engagement, problem solving. 
  • officers assigned to neighbourhoods. 
  • integrated extended policing famils - bridge builders/ junior cops.
  • neighbourhood management - paternership, production of saftey. 
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