Implementation of community policing within the Brisbane Metropolitan North Police Region : issues and problems

Thorne, Colin Stanley (2003) Implementation of community policing within the Brisbane Metropolitan North Police Region : issues and problems. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Abstract The role of policing within western democratic countries has become increasingly clouded. This nebulous role of policing has been impacted upon by such issues as, the diversity and complexity of social change, the advances achieved within the technology field and the increasing amount of legislation that has been passed in an endeavour to accommodate such changes. Over the decades these developments have required policing organisations to shift their focus from the original crime prevention in conjunction with community collaboration to one which is predominantly incident driven and enforcement focused. Through the adoption of various strategies utilising technology, beginning with the motor vehicle, the police organisation has also progressively widened the gap between itself and the community being policed. With the widening of this gap such traits as trust, familiarity, co-operation and information exchange between the two parties has declined. This appears to have a domino effect on the fear of crime and social disorder within the community, thus impacting on the quality of life of community members. Within recent decades some of the traditional policing practices - including random preventive patrol, rapid response and the need for additional police because of increasing crime - have been questioned and researched. The findings of these research projects have not supported the effectiveness of such policing strategies. The role of policing, thus comes into question and a return to the historical role of policing espoused when Sir Robert Peel established the London Metropolitan Police and drafted the Principles of Policing, which was issued to each newly appointed constable, is being revisited. This has been promoted in the form of the 'community policing' concept. This community policing concept is stated as consisting of three core components - personalised policing through a police officer being stationed within a set geographic area; police-community partnership and problem-solving. However, in order to establish and maintain a viable partnership, both parties must participate and be aware of what the partnership entails. Similarly, with problem-solving both the community and police must identify and prioritise the local community problems. Both of these core components are bonded together through the appointment of a police officer within the community providing personalised policing. This shift in policing focus would necessitate changes both within the police organisation and the community itself. It must be remembered that the reactive, incident driven model of policing has been in existence for several decades and changing such a model will require some time. Thus, the effective implementation of community policing requires an agreement as to what community policing means and then a marketing and training program so that at the outset both parties are on an equal footing. As for the problem solving component of community policing, the parties to the partnership need to accommodate the differing foci of the opposite party. From the policing perspective, this requires accepting input from the community rather than maintaining a controlling demeanour. The police therefore, need to adopt an approach espoused by Wilson and Kelling (1982) in their article titled, 'Broken Windows: The Police and Neighbourhood Safety' which has been discussed in several literary works dealing with the community policing concept [Edwards 2001; Kenney (ed) 1989; Trojanowicz & Bucqueroux 1994]. The community also needs to be involved and this can be achieved initially, by maintaining support and enthusiasm for the community policing activities initiated. The success of implementing community policing relies on the adoption of the core components. The two community policing components, police-community partnership and problem-solving are impacted on by the third core component of personalised policing within a particular area. The personalised policing component is the need to have stable and reasonably enduring police personnel deployed to respective community locales. By adding this factor to the community policing components there is provided a degree of continuity and thus both parties develop a degree of familiarity which can lead to trust and confidence. The implementation of community policing to this extent needs to be holistically addressed through the police organisational dimensions, namely the philosophical, the strategic and the programmatic. Through these dimensions a comprehensive development of the community policing concept can be undertaken.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 15945
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Carpenter, Belinda & Christie, Gayre
Keywords: Community, Community Policing, Community Oriented Policing, Fitzgerald Inquiry, Police, Problem-Oriented Policing, Problem-Oriented and Partnership Policing
Department: Faculty of Law
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Colin Stanley Thorne
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:53
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2013 06:24

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