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Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Police

12. Conclusion: histories of the future  

Benjamin Bowling, Robert Reiner, and James Sheptycki

The concluding chapter pulls together the implications of the earlier chapters of this book for an assessment of where policing is heading, and what is to be done to achieve greater effectiveness, fairness, and justice. It seeks to answer eight specific questions: What is policing? Who does it? What do police do? What are police powers? What social functions do they achieve? How does policing impact on different groups? By whom are the police themselves policed? How can policing practices be understood? It considers technological, cultural, social, political, economic changes and their implications for crime, order, and policing. It also examines the multifaceted reorientation of police thinking, especially shifts in the theory and practice of policing in the 1990s that included the rhetoric of consumerism. The chapter considers the limits of police reform and the implications of neo-liberalism for the police before concluding with a call for policing based on the principles of social democracy.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Police

7. Below, beyond, and above the police: pluralization of policing  

Benjamin Bowling, Robert Reiner, and James Sheptycki

The chapter surveys theories concerning the hybrid nature of the plural policing web. It evaluates the claim that a fundamental shift in policing occurred at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Holding police métier as a definitional constant, the chapter examines how policing is enacted from different institutional positions in plural policing. It outlines the history of claims about the rise of plural policing before discussing its relation to law, the military, technology, territory, locality, the rising importance of private ‘high policing’, and the centrality of surveillance. The chapter demonstrates the complex opportunity structure of the plural policing web, the variety of legal and technological tools involved in its operations, and suggests that it poses fundamental problems for the democratic governance of police that have not been resolved. It concludes that there is both continuity and change in the politics of the police and that claims of a fundamental break have been overstated.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

29. Policing and the police  

Trevor Jones, Tim Newburn, and Robert Reiner

In this chapter we review some of the key themes in scholarly work on policing, one of the major sub-fields within criminology. The focus is primarily upon the United Kingdom though many of the themes are familiar across all western democracies. We begin by considering what is meant by ‘policing’, before outlining the emergence of this field of academic research. The chapter then examines the development of modern policing, and the challenges of establishing and maintaining police legitimacy. This leads into a discussion of a series of key themes in policing research, including the operation and control of police discretion, occupational cultures, matters relating to diversity and discrimination, and the politics and governance of the police. The next section outlines distinctive policing ‘models’ that have emerged in recent times. The policing landscape is increasingly complex and the chapter concludes by considering two of the most significant developments: pluralization and transnationalization.

Book

Cover The Politics of the Police

Benjamin Bowling, Robert Reiner, and James W E Sheptycki

In its fifth edition, The Politics of the Police has been revised, updated, and extended to take account of recent changes in the law, policy, organization, and social contexts of policing. It builds upon the previous editions’ political economy of policing to encompass a wide global and transnational scope, and to reflect the growing diversity of policing forms. This volume explores the highly charged debates that surround policing, including the various controversies that have led to a change in the public’s opinion of the police in recent years, as well as developments in law, accountability, and governance. The volume sets out to analyse what the police do, how they do it and with what effects, how the mass media shape public perceptions of the police, and how globalization, privatization, militarization, and securitization are impacting on contemporary police work. It concludes with an assessment of what we can expect for the future of policing.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

34. Policing and the police  

Trevor Jones, Tim Newburn, and Robert Reiner

This chapter reviews some of the key themes in academic research and writing on the police and policing. It begins by discussing definitions of ‘policing’ and ‘police’, before outlining the development of academic research on policing in the USA and UK. The nature of police discretion is then discussed along with the factors that shape police decision-making and the implications of these for the accountability of policing agents and organizations. The next section reviews contrasting models of policing that have emerged over recent years, including community policing, problem-oriented policing, ‘zero tolerance’ policing and intelligence-led policing. Subsequently, two overarching developments within contemporary policing—pluralization (with a particular focus on private security) and internationalization—are explored. The chapter concludes with some reflections on the future of police and policing. The primary focus is upon policing in Britain, though many of the themes are similar across liberal democratic societies.