Community Policing

Community Policing

Community Policing

Community Policing

Synopsis

Community policing seems always in vogue, yet its essential qualities remain elusive. There has been a rush to evaluate community policing before commentators have got to grips with what community police officers do which is distinctive. This important new book by a leading expert on community policing in Britain offers a detailed analysis of the activities, functions, and operations of community police officers, and shows how community police officers gather information about crime from the communities in which they serve, and also how they apply informal social control to public disorder situations. This original and scholarly work offers a conceptual framework within which the activities of community police officers may be understood, and as such will be of great interest to all those with an interest in contemporary British policing.

Excerpt

Community Policing is the fifth volume to be published since Clarendon Studies in Criminology was launched in 1994, as successor to Cambridge Studies in Criminology.

Clarendon Studies in Criminology, which is published under the auspices of the Cambridge Institute of Criminology, the Mannheim Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice at the London School of Economics and the Oxford Centre for Criminological Research, provides a forum for outstanding work in all aspects of criminology, criminal justice, penology, and the wider field of deviant behaviour. It welcomes works of theory and synthesis as well as reports of empirical inquiries and aims to be international in its scope.

Community Policing, the first book on the police to appear in this series, deals with a subject which has been widely debated but so far little researched. Nigel Fielding's ethnographic study is the first attempt to discover what 'the local bobby on the beat' actually does. Through the skilful and sensitive use of faithfully reported examples, drawn from over 1,200 observations of police-public encounters and informal interviews with a wide range of offices in Inner London and Surrey, Nigel Fielding has provided telling insights into how community constables go about their day-to-day tasks in policing communities where there is often a good deal of ambivalence about, and sometimes outbreaks of overt hostility to, police intervention.

While recognizing that no locally based studies can pretend to answer all the issues raised by the complex and often rather vague concept of community policing, Professor Fielding clearly demonstrates that there is much that community constables can do to help in the prevention of crime, the provision of social services, and in bringing offenders to book. Moreover, he suggests that they may, by carefully sifting information gathered through personal knowledge, be better placed than other police officers to negotiate with citizens in order to reduce conflict and ultimately enhance the legitimacy accorded to police actions.

Nigel Fielding's evidence, and his challenging discussion of its wider implications for the politics, organization and practices of policing, will undoubtedly be of value to academics involved in . . .

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