Type: Analytical Essays
Sample donated: Kent Oliver
Last updated: July 21, 2019
Over the many decades, the rates of crime have increased rapidly, even though different solutions have been explored and developed to help tackle the reduction of crime and criminal activities in communities. Although, the lack of control of crimes has significantly altered by these different factors.
However, this still causes people in communities to feel less safe in their homes. This notion allowed the government to aim to provide modern policing techniques which can integrate the police and their communities, in a way which allows them to be more effective, as well as, efficient. By empowering the public with more responsibilities and giving the police more opportunities to fight crime. Reiner (2000:1-2) stated that “Policing implies a set of processes With specific social functions…
.is arguably a necessity in any social order, which may be carried out by a number of different processes and institutional arrangements.” The term ‘community’ can be interpreted in a number of ways.
According to the Oxford dictionaries, generally, it is defined as “a group of people living in the same place or having particular characteristics in common.” In regards to the meaning of ‘community policing’ in criminology and criminal justice, it is a law enforcement practice that generally focuses on matters of the police and the members of the community, efficient efforts between both the police and the public; in order to monitor and control matters of crime and social disorder within the community. Before community policing was introduced in the United States in the 1980s, in the early to mid-twentieth century period the police mainly depended on a theory of management which dissects and blends work processes. It ultimately targeted enhancing the effectiveness of standardised police responses to calls made, and how they were able to handle the situation.The police and law enforcement aimed to control crime with a various number of methods, such as; routine patrols, creating specific investigating units to prevent more serious crimes. These means used by the police later proved ineffective against reducing the rates of crimes committed during the early to mid-twentieth century until a new method was present to help police with the issues of escalating crime rates; this can be defined as ‘community policing’. An important influence in the introduction to the notion of ‘community’ and criminal itself, is known as Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850), who was prominent in England during the eightieth century.
Peel was commonly known as a social reformist and deemed the “the founder of modern policing”.During his time he also served as a Prime Minister and Home Secretary, whilst he was Prime Minister he passed a new and improved legislation aimed at tackling the issues that were present in the working class (The Mine Act of 1842 and the Factory Act of 1844) and as he severed as Home Secretary, he introduced a number of multiple new reforms to British criminal law, such reforms and alteration to the criminal law penal code system was highly effective in reducing the rates at which crimes with the implication of the death sentence and creating an opportunity for inmates to get an education in prisons. Peel designed the “Metropolitan Police” based on “The Peelian Principles”, these are 9 basic principles that he manufactured which are still highly influential for the law enforcement organisations and community policing globally.
Researchers Cox and Fitzgerald (1992:159) supported the statement that community-oriented policing can be linked back to Richard Peel based on the numerous points and views provided. According to research similar to that of Cox et al.(1992), many authors like Friedmann (1992) have discovered that characterising the term ‘community policing’ and summarizing it so that is easily understood proved rather difficult. Friedmann (1992:2) noted that “community policing became a ‘buzzword’ that is taken for granted by professionals and scholars who used the term to replace other terms such as foot patrol, crime prevention, problem-oriented policing, community-oriented policing, police-community relations and more.” Over the years, the police and other law enforcement agencies have made endeavours to create and adopt more contemporary methods in order to enhance the effectiveness of policing and other law strategies worldwide.
Based on pre-existing police strategies the lawmakers are able to recognise that police reforms are negatively affected by factors such as the economy, politics, traditions and beliefs, and so on. Mainly because it is difficult for the ‘community policing’ model alone to achieve the tackle with a crime. There are a number of different models and each model has its strengths and as well as weaknesses. Some of these models are; Problem-oriented policing, “Broken Windows” policing and Intelligence-led policing. Problem-oriented policing is aimed at logically responding to any relevant problems in the community.
On a positive note, this model was able to identify the fact that police are intended to solve a wider range of problems in the community, not just the act of crime itself.The police are expected to investigate the crime, consider every possible factor and so on, The model is also effective because it allows stronger relationships to be formed between the police and other law enforcement agencies, this is important because the police then have extra support in tackling crime if need be. Another model is “Broken Windows” policing, and it deals with unmonitored disorderly behaviours (such loss of social information, increase fear of crime..
) as within communities with high rates of street crime. The authors Wilson and Kelling ‘The police and neighbourhood safety– broken windows.’ believed that the police play a vital role in society as they have the position to do certain things that the community cannot do alone.
The model also focuses on preventing crimes from occurring and also making efforts to improve the neighbourhoods. But it can also be described as reductionist because the model is only effective if the neighbourhood is already in pre-existing danger or it has the potential to be dangerous. Finally, Intelligence-led policing is a model that actively searches for a means to improve and adapt the effectiveness of policing, a great emphasis is placed on the analysis of intelligence and development of targeted responses to that analysis. Here, modern technology and contemporary methods are integrated for effective policing. Under this model, police are expected to provide the current, detailed accounts of the patterns of crime in order to t effectively and appropriately disrupt and remove prolific offenders. Is community policing really a success? In the year 2009, a researcher named Somerville conducted a study on “under community policing”, with the aim to investigate and explore how policing needed to be developed in more in the communities today, as they could be viewed as outdated.
Somerville carried out this approach using a normative and analytical style, to effectively measure what he was aiming to find. He discovered that the concept of public self-policing allowed the community to police officers as street-level bureaucrats, with a wide range of responsibilities under the role. Over the years, community policing has been proved successful and effective in numerous programs and projects conducted.
In 1989, researcher Bayley organised an evaluated study on the role of community policing in Singapore, which he stated that operations of community policing in Singapore have proven to be more adaptive and rational. He viewed it as a very effective model and predicted that it would serve as useful for law enforcement agencies and other organisations, he also referred to it as “one of the most far-reaching examples of police reform in the world today.” (Bayley, 1989:31). In Chicago, 1993 researchers under the US National Institute of justice began a community policing pilot project which was evaluated 1995 ( two years later). They found that crimes such as robbery and auto theft had significantly declined and the people in the community were becoming more receptive and positive with their attitudes towards the police. The United States National Institute of Justice (1992), claimed the success of community policing in Seattle, Washington as the crime statistics demonstrate a dramatic difference in the residents quality of life. McElroy et al (1993) assessed the Community Patrol Officer Program in New York City and they discovered a high possibility of this becoming a success in the future.
Wycoff and Skogan (1993) were known for their work on the implementation and impact of community policing in Madison, Wisconsin. During their research, they perceived a possibility for a traditional police department to change into more contemporary attitudes where officers and the community are able to both equally benefit from the change in attitudes. Community policing has a number of supporting authors, many authors such as Skolnick et al (1991); Bayley (1994), emphasised on the need for community policing as they viewed it as too challenging for police to prevent crimes alone.
Moore (1994:285) noted that because of the increasing popularity of community policing if police executives are delayed in their response to the community’s ideas, they may decide to impose their ideas upon them. Other authors, Wilson and Kelling (1993) made reference to the “Broken Windows” concept, which they believed that once a neighbourhood begins to decay it will likely attract more crime to that area, as nobody is making any attempts to prevent the decay. Radelet and Carter (1994:75) believed that “The concept does provide a logical, comprehensive approach to police service delivery that relies on a solid foundation of research.
” Sparrow (1988:1) felt that the community policing concept “perceives the community as an agent and partner in promoting security rather than as a passive audience.” Even though numerous critics would claim the otherwise, Kelling et al (1988)noted that operations and activities within community policing were made more visible to the public, which came with more public responsibility. Gramckow and Jacoby (1993:30) concluded that community policing is useful when addressing the problems and concerns of neighbourhoods/communities, it is decentralised, proactive and deals with preventing crime and also the crime of a crime being committed.
There are many factors which can determine how successful community policing is in our communities and how effective it will be over time. However, there are still implementation and criticisms that are entailed in the model. The model can be view as unsuccessful for a number of reasons, but critics (Weatheritt, 1983; McDonald,1993; Joseph,1994) claimed it was was very difficult to appropriately assess the effectiveness. Weatheritt (1983) also claimed there was only a little evidence present which could prove community policing was as effective as claimed. Another author is known as Walker (1993) also believed that people have a misinformed idea about police history and that it is next to impossible to produce a new form of policing if it there is no concrete proof of any past existence. Bennett (1994:243) pointed out that not all police department and officers in Britain have made community policing a part of their programs, therefore making it more difficult for positive research results.
And also, Bittner (1991:46) disclosed that fact that the police are sometimes referred to as crime fighters, which meant they had to justify any other roles they played in society and other activities were regarded as “nuisance demands” for service. In terms of criticism, Weatheritt (1983) thought that it was unrealistic to expect the police to create methods in which they can use to meet a set of objectives given to them. As well as, Waddington (1984:84) believed that “the largely uncritical acceptance with which this notion has been welcomed is itself a danger. Any proposal, however attractive, should be subjected to careful and sceptical scrutiny.” He also believed that the police could only be effective in communities, they needed the consent of the residents.