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Article
Publication date: 9 December 2021

Brianna O'Regan, Robyn King and David Smith

The paper's purpose is to consider the challenges, a public sector organization faces combining both transparency and “intelligent” forms of accountability (cf. Roberts, 2009).

Abstract

Purpose

The paper's purpose is to consider the challenges, a public sector organization faces combining both transparency and “intelligent” forms of accountability (cf. Roberts, 2009).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a case study of StatePol, a police service in an Australian state.

Findings

The data analysis revealed three themes. First, prior to 2013, transparency forms of accountability dominated, emphasizing crime statistics with the effect of reinforcing internal partitions and inhibiting collective action. Second, post-2013, a greater emphasis was placed on “intelligent” accountability with conversations around process and collective accountability at the operational level. Crime statistics were used less for operational-level accountability and more for attention-directing. Third, changing the emphasis from transparency to its combined use with “intelligent” accountability required strong leadership, clearly communicated strategy and middle-level managers with appropriate skills.

Originality/value

The authors identify a number of important factors in combining transparency and “intelligent” forms of accountability. The authors note the difficulties that fragmentation between forms of accountability and the somewhat amorphous nature of the accountability concept itself can cause. In doing so, the authors provide empirical evidence of the challenges changing from an emphasis on transparency, to combined use with an “intelligent” form of accountability.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 October 2012

John W. Raine and Paul Keasey

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the opportunities and challenges provided by the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), and particularly the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the opportunities and challenges provided by the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), and particularly the prospects for enhanced public accountability of policing as a result. It considers how the new accountability framework might work in practice and in comparison with the existing arrangements of Police Authorities and highlights the key accountability relationships on which success is likely to depend.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on a range of published research on public accountability and applies the key ideas to the particular context of police governance and accountability.

Findings

While the plans for directly elected PCCs have proved controversial, the overall view is that the new approach to police governance deserves its chance because it seems to offer at least some potential for stronger public accountability. Much depends on the three key accountability relationships and probably it will take some time for clear, significant and lasting impacts to show themselves. But in four years time, when the next round of elections are due, the nature of the challenge of injecting more effective public accountability into policing will be better understood.

Originality/value

The paper offers conceptual insights on the governance and accountability framework for policing, both as currently exists and as is intended with directly elected PCCs. It also highlights the three key accountability relationships which lie at the heart of the new arrangements and upon which success, to a large extent, will depend.

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 May 2020

Matthew Russell Scobie, Markus J. Milne and Tyron Rakeiora Love

This paper explores diverse practices of the giving and demanding of democratic accountability within a case of conflict around deep-sea petroleum exploration in Aotearoa…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores diverse practices of the giving and demanding of democratic accountability within a case of conflict around deep-sea petroleum exploration in Aotearoa New Zealand. These practices include submissions and consultations, partnership between Indigenous Peoples and a settler-colonial government and dissensus. These are theorised through the political thought of Jacques Rancière.

Design/methodology/approach

A single case study approach is employed that seeks to particularise and draws on interview, documentary and media materials.

Findings

By examining a case of conflict, the authors find that as opportunities for participation in democratic accountability processes are eroded, political dissensus emerges to demand parts in the accountability process. Dissensus creates counter forums within a wider understanding of democratic accountability. In this case, individuals and organisations move between police (where hierarchy counts those with a part) and politics (exercised when this hierarchy is disrupted by dissensus) to demand parts as police logics become more and less democratic. These parts are then utilised towards particular interests, but in this case to also create additional parts for those with none.

Originality/value

This study privileges demands for accountability through dissensus as fundamental to democratic accountability, rather than just account giving and receiving. That is, who is or who is not included – who has a stake or a part – is crucial in a broader understanding of democratic accountability. This provides democratic accountability with a radical potential for creating change. The study also advances thinking on democratic accountability by drawing from Indigenous perspectives and experiences in a settler-colonial context.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 August 2013

Trevor Jones and Ronald van Steden

The purpose of this paper is to compare the specific institutional arrangements for realizing democratically accountable policing in England & Wales and the Netherlands…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare the specific institutional arrangements for realizing democratically accountable policing in England & Wales and the Netherlands. It assesses each accountability system against a set of “democratic criteria” and considers the implications for democratic policing of the current reform trajectories in both jurisdictions.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts a cross‐national approach exploring the relationship between policing and democratic institutions by comparing the democratic credentials of the police governance systems in England & Wales and the Netherlands.

Findings

Current reforms to the police governance system in England & Wales aim to increase local elected influence over policing. By contrast, the Dutch system deliberately limits the degree of local electoral control over policing. The paper argues that there is a range of elements to democratic policing, and that “democratic accountability” should not be conflated with control of policing by elected bodies. Whilst the trajectories of reform in England & Wales and the Netherlands are going in opposite directions, each raises a number of “democratic” concerns.

Research limitation/implications

The research is limited to only two developed European parliamentary democracies in the European Union. Further comparative research on democratic policing is required to expand the analysis to a wider variety of democratic contexts.

Originality/value

To date, there has been little attention paid by policy makers or by academics to the form and nature of police governance in continental European countries. By drawing comparisons between England & Wales and the Netherlands, the paper aims to provide a democratic assessment of the two police accountability systems (and their current reform trajectories) and discuss some broad policy implications for police governance in each jurisdiction.

Practical implications

Comparative analysis of police accountability in both England and Wales and the Netherlands provides potential for policy learning in each jurisdiction. The analysis suggests that both systems, in different ways, are currently at risk of over‐emphasizing particular democratic criteria (such as electoral participation, or delivery of service) to the exclusion of others (such as concerns with equitable and fair policing and the protection of minority rights).

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2004

Zahirul Hoque, Sharee Arends and Rebecca Alexander

Recently public interest in the police service in Australia has emanated from extensive media coverage and from rising public accountability expectations. In light of…

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Abstract

Recently public interest in the police service in Australia has emanated from extensive media coverage and from rising public accountability expectations. In light of this, the current paper explores how far the accounting, accountability and performance management systems within “new public management” ideals have evolved within the Australian police services. More specifically, it explores the accountability framework, information for performance evaluation and public sector reform implications for an Australian state police service as a whole, and an individual police station, in particular. The findings suggest that the police service in Australia has a rigid accountability structure and is continuously subject to performance evaluations. Further, it has been found that there is considerable rise of “new public management” ideals within the police services in Australia. It was apparent that the reforms in the police service had a dual purpose – legitimizing the police service to the electorate and ordinary citizens, while encouraging efficiencies of resource use.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 4 July 2019

Michael T. Rossler

Police technology fundamentally shapes the police role, and the adoption of technology is even linked to the success of police reforms. Police adoption of emerging…

Abstract

Police technology fundamentally shapes the police role, and the adoption of technology is even linked to the success of police reforms. Police adoption of emerging technological tools changes the way police interact with citizens. The change in police citizen interactions can then have serious implications for the social control that police have over citizens, the civil liberties citizens enjoy, police accountability, and the legitimacy that the police hold in contemporary American society.

While technology impacts these critical issues in policing, not all technology adopted by the police is likely to influence their relationship with the public. As such, this chapter closely examines the ways that several emerging technologies adopted by the police (i.e., body-worn cameras (BWC), aerial surveillance, visual surveillance, social media, mapping and crime prediction, and less lethal force technology) impact issues related to social control, accountability, and legitimacy. The current literature seems to indicate that some innovations such as BWCs enhance police accountability and legitimacy, and also expand social control. Other technologies such as aerial surveillance and conducted energy devices increase social control, and display a complicated or unclear influence over police legitimacy.

Details

Political Authority, Social Control and Public Policy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-049-9

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Ray Chan

– The purpose of this paper is to study police powers and accountability from a comparative perspective in both China and Hong Kong.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study police powers and accountability from a comparative perspective in both China and Hong Kong.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper compares and contrasts police powers and accountability.

Findings

The implications are many, including different political systems in which China is more authoritarian or paternalistic whereas Hong Kong is more pluralistic; checks and balances mechanisms in Hong Kong are far greater than in China; and the concept of accountability to the public is different in that Hong Kong police are accountable to members of the public but the mainland Chinese police force has a limited and top-down concept of accountability.

Originality/value

An original comparative approach to policing in Hong Kong and China.

Details

Asian Education and Development Studies, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-3162

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 January 2022

Ashwin Varghese

The paper aims to relocate discussions on police stops and police interactions from the Anglophone world to the particularistic context of the post-colonial state of…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to relocate discussions on police stops and police interactions from the Anglophone world to the particularistic context of the post-colonial state of India. The paper further frames the everyday policing practices in a theoretical dialog between questions of legitimacy, accountability and tolerated illegalities. For that purpose, the author contextualizes the discussion in the post-colonial state of India, in the jurisdictions of two police stations (PSs), in the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the State of Kerala.

Design/methodology/approach

The author conducted ethnographic studies in one station each in Kerala and Delhi, India, from February to July 2019 and July 2019 to January 2020, respectively. The study mapped everyday power relations as the relations manifested within the site and jurisdiction of the PSs.

Findings

Through the research, the author found that to fully understand everyday practices of policing, especially police interactions and police stops, one must contextualize the police force within the administrative power-sharing relations, police force's accountability structures, legal procedures and class dynamics, which mark the terrain in which personnel function. In that terrain, the author found that the dialog between particularistic legitimacy, accountability and tolerated illegalities offered an important framework to interpret the everyday policing practices.

Originality/value

Through the paper, the author seeks to expand the analysis of ethnographic descriptions of policing by contextualizing them in the political economy of the state. In doing so, the author aims to provide a framework through which police interactions in post-colonial India could be understood

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2000

Jenny Fleming and George Lafferty

This paper examines the implementation of new management techniques in Australian police services since the late 1980s, within an international context of demands for…

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Abstract

This paper examines the implementation of new management techniques in Australian police services since the late 1980s, within an international context of demands for greater public sector efficiencies and accountability. Through an examination of police organisations in Queensland and New South Wales, the paper demonstrates that the impetus for organisational change, particularly in the context of employment practices has largely been driven by revelations of entrenched corruption and police misconduct. As a result, organisational goals of accountability and cultural change have been the critical influences on the restructuring agenda. The paper argues that management strategies should be suited to the specific organisational settings within which they are being applied. It suggests that the process of restructuring and the emphasis on changing employment practices have led to greater potential for conflict between management and police officers.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 January 2010

Karen Bullock

The themes of accessibility and accountability have come to dominate the police reform agenda in the UK. They are evident, especially, in the rhetoric of ‘neighbourhood…

Abstract

The themes of accessibility and accountability have come to dominate the police reform agenda in the UK. They are evident, especially, in the rhetoric of ‘neighbourhood policing’, which has been delivered across England and Wales, and in the ‘policing pledge’, which sets out a series of commitments regarding what the public can expect from their local police service. This paper is concerned with exploring these themes and their application in neighbourhood policing. It examines how officers in two police services have sought to implement the requirements of neighbourhood policing and the policing pledge in terms of improving accessibility and accountability of local policing. In doing so, it focuses on arrangements for consulting with members of the public, providing updates regarding their actions and outcomes in addressing local problems and on the provision of data and maps about crime problems. Practice implications are identified.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

Keywords

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