Michael D. Reisig
This article is divided into five sections. Section I provides an overview of community and problem-oriented policing, highlighting the key of elements of the two approaches. Section II discusses the history of the American police, with an emphasis on the antecedents and outcomes associated with prior reform efforts. Section III describes the federal government's involvement in community and problem-oriented policing via the COPS program, and reviews the research assessing the impact of the program on crime rates is reviewed. Section IV focuses on the theoretical frameworks that guide community and problem-oriented policing interventions, and extant empirical research. Community policing is rooted in two theories of neighborhood crime (i.e., broken windows and social disorganization), whereas problem-oriented policing is often couched in theories of criminal opportunity (i.e., rational choice and routine activity). Section V concludes with a discussion specifying priorities for future research.
This essay discusses community policing: what it is, why it became so popular in the late twentieth century, difficulties in its implementation, evidence on its effectiveness, and future prospects. Community policing clearly became the dominant policing paradigm in the 1990s, not only in the United States but throughout much of the rest of the world. Perhaps not surprisingly, since it is billed as “a philosophy, not a program,” separating the reality of community policing from its rhetoric has been an ongoing challenge. Early in the current century, the ascendance of community policing was interrupted by the events of 9/11. Since then, community policing has competed with the war on terror, homeland security, and intelligence-led policing for strategic prominence, and most recently has suffered during the Great Recession.
War affects combatant societies and societies trampled over by warring armies and smashed by their munitions in a variety of ways. This chapter draws out some of these effects with respect to crime and criminal offending in European societies since the mid-eighteenth century and explores how that offending was investigated and suppressed. It focuses on three principal areas: first, the kinds and extent of offenses committed by soldiers and sailors during war and its immediate aftermath; second, the ways in which the exigencies and pressures of, and the opportunities provided by, war have prompted criminal activity among civilians; and third, the kinds of police that have existed and been specifically developed to deal with military offending.
This exploratory essay outlines various pivotal trends in the professionalization of police detection in England, France, and the United States from the mid-eighteenth century to the Second World War. Key landmarks in the evolution of the role of the detective from criminal turned paid informant, or from nonspecialist law enforcer, to a professional member of a detective unit are traced. The essay draws upon the history of forensic science to highlight the interface between detection and forensic science and to point toward forensic science methodologies that made significant inroads in the world of police detection, thereby enhancing its professionalization.
Peter K. Manning
What do we know about what police do and how they do it? Ethnography, or the close-up study of culture and how meaning is produced, distributed and understood, has a long history in social science, criminology, and criminal justice. It has been the primary technique that established the foundational work in the field of police studies. Ethnographic work published in English is carried out in a context of assumptions about policing. It has followed the drift of police studies generally, assuming the “Peel model,” stable democratic governance while keeping an Anglo-American focus. The early ethnographic works became visible and powerful icons of the policing literature. This essay discusses the virtues and some of the insights of ethnography in the police context. A significant number of ethnographically-based monographs, articles, and chapters done in the last fifty years are summarized. There is a recent concern with private policing and innovations in policing technology. Conventional ethnography remains with some innovations in style and focus. Trends in funding, graduate training, perceived career prospects, and governmental evaluation systems do not favor the production of more published ethnographies.
Anthony A. Braga
This article assesses the theoretical and empirical evidence on the concentration of crime in a small number of places and times, and the concentration of offending among a small number of very active offenders. It describes the salience of co-offending to serious crime problems, and then studies the relationship between place dynamics and high-crime times, as well as some significant criminological theories and perspectives. The article also studies the concepts of urban violence, repeat victimization, and crime hot spots. It also shows how citywide crime rates can be controlled by focusing on crime-prevention resources on high-crime places, times, and offenders.
Ajay Sandhu and Kevin D. Haggerty
The public now expects that police work will be video recorded. This challenges the foundational axiom that police work is a “low-visibility” occupation. Technological and social developments are rapidly making aspects of police work increasingly visible. A consensus seems to be emerging that this new high-visibility status undermines public trust and challenges police legitimacy. This article analyzes this situation and questions the extent to which videos of the police are producing uniformly negative outcomes for them. It emphasizes how the police are involved in an ongoing struggle for legitimacy, played out on a public stage and involving different images, audiences, and interpretations of recorded police behavior, paying attention to the complex and countervailing dynamics of police visibility, empowerment, and legitimacy. It highlights some of these dimensions by drawing on research on policing in Canada to accentuate the ways individual line officers relate to their heightened camera visibility.
This essay provides a historical overview of the ways in which gender has influenced the criminal justice system’s responses to offending in Western societies. It discusses the factors that have interacted with gender (e.g., class, ethnicity, family status) to shape those responses across the seventeenth to the twenty-first century. In particular it provides an international focus on how the three main parts of the criminal justice system (policing, detection, and apprehension; prosecution and sentencing; and punishment and reformation) have together worked to produce gendered outcomes that have historical origins but long-lasting contemporary resonance.
Dietrich Oberwittler and Julia Kasselt
Honor killings are an extreme type of gendered domestic violence, with peculiar characteristics related to the social and cultural traditions of tribal, patriarchal societies. The killings are motivated by the goal to restore a family’s collective reputation that has been damaged by the victim’s violation of very strict norms regulating female sexuality, and they are viewed by the assailants as a legitimate punishment, often condoned by local communities and tolerated by state agencies. While the paradigmatic honor killing is the murder of a young woman by her male relatives, intimate-partner homicides are often included in definitions of the crime, as are cases with male victims. Pakistan, Arabian countries, and Turkey are reported to have the highest number of cases, but reliable statistics are lacking. This essay gives an overview of the current state of research on honor killings in the Maghreb region, in western and central Asian countries, as well as in industrialized countries; offers an explanation of the crime focusing on macro-level societal factors; and reflects on the controversial question of whether honor killings are distinct from other forms of violence against women. The legal provisions permitting an exceedingly lenient treatment of assailants in many of the most affected countries are examined, and the prospects for current criminal justice reforms that play a key role in the fight against honor killings are assessed.
Melanie A. Taylor, Scott H. Decker, Doris M. Provine, Paul G. Lewis, and Monica W. Varsanyi
This essay examines variation in the response of local police to undocumented immigrants. The essay begins with a review of the history of law enforcement responses to immigration. Changing social and political conditions have changed the relationship between local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies regarding immigration status. In many cases, this has shifted responsibility from the federal government to local police. Local police departments often lack clear policies and/or training regarding undocumented immigrants, leaving officers with little guidance when confronting issues surrounding them. Increased partnerships between local law enforcement and the federal government in the enforcement of immigration offenses have left police with the task of balancing relationships with immigrant communities with demands for law enforcement. Risks of increased local responsibility for immigration include concerns about racial profiling of undocumented immigrants and other residents, weakened ties between local police and immigrant communities, and communities compromised by deportation. We examine these challenges in the context of maintaining a commitment to community policing.
Sanja Kutnjak Ivković
This article is organized as follows. Section I focuses on the concept of police legitimacy, exploring it from the police agency perspective (i.e., why people obey the authority), and presents the empirical findings on legitimacy. Section II discusses what happens when police officers cross the line that separates legitimate and illegitimate conduct. Section III analyzes traditional and novel responses to the situations in which policing went wrong, including internal mechanisms (e.g., internal affairs, early warning systems), external mechanisms (e.g., criminal courts, independent commissions), and mixed mechanisms of control and accountability (e.g., accreditation, citizen reviews). Section IV reflects on the key issues and provides ideas for future research.
The problem of terrorism has raised a host of questions about how police should respond to the new threat, foremost of which is this: What is the responsibility of the police for countering terrorism? The police are the largest component of the network of homeland security guardians, serving not only as first responders, but also as agents of surveillance and bridge-building to communities suspected of contributing disproportionately to terrorism. But terrorism is not the predominant problem confronting the police in jurisdictions throughout the land, even in New York and Washington, DC, where the threat has been and will continue to be especially significant. What principles can help to embed the responsibilities of local police for counterterrorism within the larger mandate of police in most jurisdictions? Is contemporary policing in line with those principles? If not, should it change to be more supportive of national security? How? This essay addresses these questions.
David E. Thacher
Order maintenance is the police role in defining and regulating the fair use of public spaces, and it has been a central aspect of police work since the inception of modern police agencies. The confusion and ambiguity that have always surrounded it have left it vulnerable to abuse, as police have repeatedly used their order maintenance authority as a covert tool to detain suspicious and unpopular people in circumstances where doing so overtly would be forbidden. One of the most important priorities for reforming order maintenance policing today lies in the need to rein in these pretextual uses of order maintenance authority, providing patrol officers with clearer guidelines about its legitimate uses. Another involves the development and wider use of more restrained forms of police authority short of arrest, including prevention tactics, persuasion, civil penalties, and temporary detention.
The public police is an inseparable part of the modern state, and the origins and development of the ideas of police, policing, and their institutional locations have been the subject of considerable historical debate over the last four decades. This essay reviews the historiography of modern policing, which can be divided into three strands. The first has aimed to revise earlier accounts identifying modern civil policing as the legacy of Robert Peel’s London Metropolitan Police. The second has highlighted the importance of an earlier European conception of policing as a comprehensive government of populations. The third has been preoccupied with the origins, function, and diffusion of militarized gendarmerie-style policing, closely identified with state security and French prerevolutionary police innovations. This essay further examines how these approaches have been closely linked to contemporary debates about the powers, functions, and governance of the modern public police.
Matthew J. Hickman
Public knowledge about the administrative management of police departments, as well as their use of force patterns, remains vague due to limitations on police department capacities—and in some cases, desires—to collect and distribute such information. The LEMAS survey, which is administered to police departments every few years by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, is the largest quasi-census of U.S. police departments, though its usefulness remains hindered by several methodological issues, making it difficult for researchers and policy makers to confidently transform LEMAS information into social science data. Moreover, as many police departments fail to gather and/or distribute records on use of force, researchers and others remain largely unable to conduct meaningful analyses on use of force patterns in the United States. This essay proposes a five-point plan for ensuring that police department records can ultimately be collected and used by researchers and policy makers as valid and reliable social science data.
Lawrence W. Sherman
This article examines the growing gap between evidence and practice in democratic policing, primarily in the English-speaking nations (especially the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia). Section I describes the framework for evidence-based knowledge about policing for crime control, with recent advances in some of the tools for generating such knowledge. Section II describes our knowledge about the effectiveness of two very different approaches to policing: the traditional “standard model,” and the newly emergent “customized policing” model. Section III addresses two specific issues in the future of policing: what can be done to close the gap between research evidence and police practice, and how can that strategy be accomplished?
John E. Eck and Tamara D. Madensen
Police influence on offender choices has largely been described in terms of general and specific deterrence. This chapter expands this description by examining the quantity and quality of police influences. With regard to quantity, theory and research from environmental criminology have described a rich set of influences that have direct and indirect effects on offenders. Indirect influences operate through various third parties and by manipulating crime situations. With regard to quality, theory and research from a wide variety of disciplines show that how the police behave with offenders has an influence on offender choices. Four principles are particularly important for quality: the degrees to which the police appear to be reasonable, disarming, focused, and consistent. Expanding our understanding of how police can influence offender choices provides useful areas for research and opens a wide range of possibilities for improving police effectiveness and fairness in addressing crime.
Willem de Lint
In this essay, the grounding of police authority in consent is revisited in a call for anti-authoritarian policing. A longstanding tenet of the legitimate exercise of authority is its foundation in democratic processes and institutions. Yet, it is often assumed that police discretion will support powerful interests even when these offend democratic necessity. Police are urged not to abandon classical liberal doctrine to maintain an order of widening disparities, but to call upon their discretion to support their own longstanding institutional interest in plural governance.
This essay examines police use of force across a variety of contexts, including the numerous ways coercion has been conceptualized and defined, how often the police resort to coercive means, and the impact of such tactics on society. The primary focus of the essay centers on assessing the varying reasons police officers use coercion, but in a manner that neither adheres to traditional theoretical rubrics nor one that pretends there are neatly packaged theories within which to place such behavior. Along the way, the goal is to illuminate the complexity of force decision making and come out the other side with a greater appreciation for why adequate theories of police behavior in general, and coercion in particular, are so elusive.
Legitimacy is now a stable topic in police studies. The weight of the evidence from various empirical studies is that public perceptions of police legitimacy (measured mainly in terms of people’s feelings of obligation to obey the police or the law) are grounded in the fairness of the procedures police employ in their interactions with citizens. Legitimacy, in turn, has been found to influence legal compliance and people’s willingness to support the police to fight crime. This essay takes stock of research on police legitimacy. It argues that theoretical analyses of legitimacy have so far lagged behind empirical studies, resulting in a conflation of legitimacy with other concepts. The essay discusses a new conceptual approach that stresses procedural justice, distributive justice, lawfulness, and effectiveness as dimensions of police legitimacy in a liberal democracy. The implications for future empirical analyses of legitimacy are discussed.