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Obstacles to problem-oriented policing in Montevideo

Federico del Castillo (John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York City, New York, USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 8 August 2018

Issue publication date: 23 May 2019




In the broad context of Uruguay’s police reform, the Ministry of Interior is implementing a problem-oriented policing (POP) program in Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital city. The purpose of this paper is to examine the obstacles confronted by this program over its implementation.


Data were collected through 20 semi-structured interviews conducted with members of the Uruguay National Police selected via purposeful sampling. The study relies on a grounded theory approach. Findings were interpreted based on five categories of analysis.


Findings point at obstacles confronted by the program associated with contextual organizational factors, a general misunderstanding of POP, leadership, resistance and motivation, and availability and sufficiency of resources.


Although POP has been implemented in a variety of settings, it is still rare in Latin America. As a consequence, research on POP is limited in this region. This study adds to the small but growing body of literature on the police reform in Latin America, and at the same time, is one the few pieces of research on the police reform in Uruguay.



The author would like to thank Dr Dennis Kenney and the two anonymous reviewers for their suggestions and constructive criticism to this paper.


del Castillo, F. (2019), "Obstacles to problem-oriented policing in Montevideo", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 42 No. 3, pp. 334-346.



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