Confidence in the police: Balancing public image with community safety - A comparative review of the literature
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Examining the evolution of British and Australian policing, this comparative review of the literature considers the historical underpinnings of policing in these two countries and the impact of community legitimacy derived from the early concepts of policing by consent. Using the August 2011 disorder in Britain as a lens, this paper considers whether, in striving to maintain community confidence, undue emphasis is placed on the police's public image at the expense of community safety. Examining the path of policing reform, the impact of bureaucracy on policing and the evolving debate surrounding police performance, this review suggests that, while largely delivering on the ideal of an ethical and strong police force, a preoccupation with self-image may in fact result in tarnishing the very thing British and Australian police forces strive to achieve - their standing with the public. This paper advocates for a more realistic goal of gaining public respect rather than affection in order to achieve the difficult balance between maintaining trust and respect as an approachable, ethical entity providing firm, confident policing in this ever-evolving, modern society.
International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice
© 2013 Elsevier. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Causes and Prevention of Crime