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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2015

Helen Wells

– The purpose of this paper is to explore the negotiation of boundaries of strategic vs operational responsibility between Chief Constables and Police Crime Commissioners (PCCs).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the negotiation of boundaries of strategic vs operational responsibility between Chief Constables and Police Crime Commissioners (PCCs).

Design/methodology/approach

The discussion reflects on interviews with Chief Constables (n=11) and PCCs (n=11) in matched pairs, exploring the relationship between the two figures, specifically in relation to the issue of the operational independence of the Chief Constable in the new accountability structure.

Findings

The findings demonstrate that experiences vary and depend on the particular personalities and experience of the individuals involved. PCCs were particularly likely to test the boundary of operational vs strategic responsibility in relation to issues which had been brought to their attention by members of their electorate.

Research limitations/implications

Future research could seek a larger sample as it is possible that those areas where real tensions existed declined to participate. Given the findings, it would also be informative to revisit the topic in the run-up to the next PCC elections.

Social implications

The (re)negotiation of boundaries may become the norm given that both roles are subject to reassignment at short notice, and may become particularly salient in the run-up to future PCC elections. Crucial policing decisions which affect everyone are inevitably influenced by these background negotiations.

Originality/value

Previous research has not been based on interviews with both PCCs and their respective Chief Constables, and hence there is dearth of material which reflects on the relationships between these two powerful individuals and their ongoing negotiations of issues with real practical and conceptual implications.

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2011

Peter Joyce

The purpose of this paper is to consider the background of the proposal contained in the coalition government's Police and Social Responsibility legislation to replace…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider the background of the proposal contained in the coalition government's Police and Social Responsibility legislation to replace police authorities with directly elected police and crime commissioners (PCCs) and to evaluate the potential problems that will arise from this reform.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is library‐based, utilising a range of primary and secondary sources. The objectives of the research are addressed by examining a number of key themes: the creation of police authorities; the evolution of police authorities; the target regime; consequences of increased central control over policing; the Community Empowerment agenda; the reform of police authorities; the 2010 coalition government and PCCs; problems posed by PCCs; and the progress of reform.

Findings

The research established that the role performed by police authorities in the governance of policing was in need of reform, in particular because of their inability to ensure that local concerns were adequately addressed by their police forces. However, it is argued that replacing an authority with one single person possessing considerable powers over policing poses significant dangers which include the potential of this reform to politicise the police.

Originality/value

The paper presents a detailed analysis of a key aspect of coalition government policing policy and seeks to establish that what is proposed contains serious weaknesses which must be addressed in order to provide for a workable system of police governance. It is of relevance to those engaged in delivering policing, crime prevention and community safety agendas.

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Article
Publication date: 5 August 2014

Andrew Fisher and Stuart Kirby

Although the private sector has long understood that a customer-focused service is synonymous with success, the concept is less embedded in public agencies such as the…

Abstract

Purpose

Although the private sector has long understood that a customer-focused service is synonymous with success, the concept is less embedded in public agencies such as the Police. Cultural studies consistently argue that police practitioners perceive “citizen focused” or “quality of service” approaches as distant to “real policing”, making the concept difficult to implement. The purpose of this paper is to explore the complex infrastructure required for the implementation of this approach, specifically focusing on senior police leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

Using semi-structured interviews across a diversity of police officers and staff it provides a case study of a city Police Force in England, who attempted to introduce a citizen focused approach between 2006-2010.

Findings

Senior police leaders were reported to exhibit distinct and consistent leadership styles with a “transformational” style more positively associated with the implementation of this agenda.

Practical implications

The study argues specific leadership styles are critical to the delivery of “quality” approaches.

Originality/value

No other case studies currently exist that have explored the role of police leadership in the field of quality service/citizen focused approaches.

Details

International Journal of Leadership in Public Services, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-9886

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1998

Vivian B. Lord

Compares the relationship of selection and training of police officers in Sweden and the USA. The ability to identify stable, effective police officers continues to baffle…

Abstract

Compares the relationship of selection and training of police officers in Sweden and the USA. The ability to identify stable, effective police officers continues to baffle police administrators. The selection of US police officers has become a complex procedure that often requires six months to complete, consuming a great deal of the department’s recruiting resources. In spite of such intricate investigations, rates of dropouts in recruit training and termination for misconduct is high. In Sweden, law enforcement is considered one of the highest regarded professions. More than 8,000 individuals compete for the approximately 400 law enforcement positions filled annually. In comparison to most US police departments, Sweden’s selection process appears simplistic; however, a minute number of officers have been lost through terminations or drop out from training. The current study compares the relationship between the Swedish community’s perception of the police, the ability to select from a large pool of applicants, and an elaborate three‐year education/ socialization period with the US public perception of the police, an intricate selection process, and relatively short training period. Implications of the potential changes in Sweden’s selection and training process are also discussed.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2004

Adam Crawford and Stuart Lister

This article presents an overview and assessment of recent reforms that have contributed to a pluralisation and fragmentation of policing in England and Wales. It…

Abstract

This article presents an overview and assessment of recent reforms that have contributed to a pluralisation and fragmentation of policing in England and Wales. It considers the emergence of new forms of visible policing both within and beyond the public police. These include the growth of private security guards and patrols, local auxiliaries such as neighbourhood wardens and the introduction of second tier police personnel in the shape of the new police community support officers. To varying degrees plural forms of policing seek to offer public reassurance through visible patrols. The article goes on to explore the complex nature of relations between the “extended police family” and the different modes of governance they suggest. It concludes with a consideration of the future shape of reassurance policing.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2013

Nicholas R. Fyfe

The paper focuses on current debates about police professionalism. It explores the nature and meaning of what has been termed “old” professionalism, which focuses on the…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper focuses on current debates about police professionalism. It explores the nature and meaning of what has been termed “old” professionalism, which focuses on the role of the police as “professional crime fighters”, and then assesses the extent to which there has been a transition to a “new” professionalism centred on enhanced accountability, legitimacy and evidence‐based practice. The paper aims to show how the recent attempt to embed this “new” professionalism within policing in England and Wales is likely to be compromised by the broader political and economic context of police reform.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a review of key contributions to the debates about police professionalism in the USA and the UK.

Findings

The paper provides important insights into the way in which there are competing and conflicting meanings attached to police professionalism and argues that claims that there have been significant transitions from one form of professionalism to another need to be treated with caution. The paper also emphasises the uncertain trajectory of the development of police professionalism in England and Wales in the future as a result of the complex interplay between the different elements of the coalition government's police reform programme.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates the multiple meanings of the term “police professionalism” and the challenges that surround developing professional policing.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 27 March 2020

Aline Pietrix Seepma, Carolien de Blok and Dirk Pieter Van Donk

Many countries aim to improve public services by use of information and communication technology (ICT) in public service supply chains. However, the literature does not…

Abstract

Purpose

Many countries aim to improve public services by use of information and communication technology (ICT) in public service supply chains. However, the literature does not address how inter-organizational ICT is used in redesigning these particular supply chains. The purpose of this paper is to explore this important and under-investigated area.

Design/methodology/approach

An explorative multiple-case study was performed based on 36 interviews, 39 documents, extensive field visits and observations providing data on digital transformation in four European criminal justice supply chains.

Findings

Two different design approaches to digital transformation were found, which are labelled digitization and digitalization. These approaches are characterized by differences in public service strategies, performance aims, and how specific public characteristics and procedures are dealt with. Despite featuring different roles for ICT, both types show the viable digital transformation of public service supply chains. Additionally, the application of inter-organizational ICT is found not to automatically result in changes in the coordination and management of the chain, in contrast to common assumptions.

Originality/value

This paper is one of the first to adopt an inter-organizational perspective on the use of ICT in public service supply chains. The findings have scientific and managerial value because fine-grained insights are provided into how public service supply chains can use ICT in an inter-organizational setting. The study shows the dilemmas faced by and possible options for public organizations when designing digital service delivery.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 January 2015

Robert Gregory

This purpose of this paper is to discuss the relationship between political independence and operational impartiality in regard to the effectiveness of anti-corruption…

Abstract

Purpose

This purpose of this paper is to discuss the relationship between political independence and operational impartiality in regard to the effectiveness of anti-corruption agencies (ACAs). Against this background of western orthodoxy, it asks whether a non-western country with high levels of corruption (Vietnam being an example) can find another pathway in its efforts to effectively combat corruption.

Design/methodology/approach

An exercise in qualitative conceptual clarification and theoretical speculation, drawing upon practical examples.

Findings

It is argued that it is important to distinguish between de jure and de facto political independence, and that neither can be fully understood unless they are considered in relationship to other key values, particularly operational impartiality, public accountability, and systemic legitimacy, and in the context of bureaucratic politics. There is little coherent theoretical knowledge available about the relationships among these variables. Such values are central to western notions of “good government” but are much less institutionalised in non-western jurisdictions with high levels of corruption. The question is raised: can such countries, Vietnam being one example, develop effective anti-corruption strategies which because of the nature of their own political system, cannot depend on political independence for its ACAs?

Originality/value

Attention is drawn to some conceptual and putatively theoretical issues relating to the effectiveness of ACAs, and which have received little explicit attention in the relevant academic literature.

Details

Asian Education and Development Studies, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-3162

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2014

Liz Turner

This paper aims to explore the recent introduction of directly elected police and crime commissioners (PCCs) in England and Wales, and to consider to what extent this new…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the recent introduction of directly elected police and crime commissioners (PCCs) in England and Wales, and to consider to what extent this new innovation should be considered as a positive contribution to the achievement of democratic policing.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on a range of key sources of academic literature on police accountability and the sociology of policing, as well as considering the content of government pronouncements and legislation.

Findings

The central argument of the paper is that the introduction of PCCs needs to be examined within the context of the hegemony of neo-liberal logic in public services reform. It is argued that some enduring myths of policing, including the myth that the police impartially uphold an impartial law, lend themselves to the depoliticisation of policing which is necessary in order to facilitate neo-liberal colonisation of the service, which is inimical to democratic policing.

Originality/value

The paper builds upon and contests some of the early critiques of the introduction of PCCs which have emerged and proposes a new direction for the development of critique in this area. It will be of interest to policing scholars as well as anyone concerned about the relationship between democracy and policing under current conditions of deep public service cuts and the colonisation of service provision by neo-liberal values.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2003

Harry Barton

Over the past two decades successive British governments, both Conservative and Labour, have attempted to implement reforms within the English and Welsh police service…

Abstract

Over the past two decades successive British governments, both Conservative and Labour, have attempted to implement reforms within the English and Welsh police service. The latest Labour government proposals have resulted in new legislation which paves the way for wide‐scale reforms of how the police are managed, financed and judged against specific performance targets. Further, the introduction of the UKs first “national policing plan” has led to the belief that this is a sign of the British government's intention to reduce/remove the historical, political neutrality identified through “constabulary independence”. Past experiences suggest that greater “nationalisation” of policing in the UK is unlikely to meet government expectations owing to the strength of police (sub) culture to adopt and yet resist reform and that the governments failure to pay attention to this may result in the failure of reform.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 16 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

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