This report looks at the background and the development of the policing policies in the USA and the UK to understand the drivers and motivations that inform police activity in these countries. A comparison with the reported crime levels allows comparison of their performance and effectiveness and thus the systems.
Why are the police so important in the development of democratic societies The police are different from any other government entity. Of all government functions, the policing function is arguably the most visible, the most immediate, the most intimately involved with the well-being of individuals and the health of the communities.
Police represents a vital arm of the government and is primarily responsible for the maintenance of law and order within the political boundaries of a country. The organisation, the underlying philosophy and the way police approach their task reflects the approach to governance that the country has especially towards its citizens. Conversely, the attitude of the community towards the police also affects the way the police approach their job. Regardless of the way the policing function is organised the result is what is important. The essential questions to ask are:
While it is widely agreed that the functions of the police ...
The essential questions to ask are:
a) Whether the police is effective in crime reduction and,
b) Do the police meet the needs of the society whose interest it serves
While it is widely agreed that the functions of the police embrace much more than crime investigation and control as also that police are not the only institution that is responsible for crime abatement, this essay considers only the role of the police in fighting crime. At the end of the 1980s, the change in societal environment, and the demographics of crime and drug abuse clearly indicated that the traditional police practices were inadequate to control crime (Greenwood et al 1977; Kelling et al 1974). Two decades of rising crime led to a gradual erosion of public confidence in the institution (Crank & Langworthy 1992) and demanded the use of innovative practices to meet the requirements of the society. While the American police adopted the 'zero tolerance' approach that continued to tend toward use of force to keep the streets clean, the British police, except for a few disastrous experiments with 'zero tolerance' gravitated towards the more liberal approach.
A comparison of police systems and practices in America and Britain helps understand the cultural and operational philosophy differences between the two and impact they have on their effectiveness. The analysis and discussion in this report is limited to police organisations in urban and metropolitan areas with rural policing specifically excluded.
This report explores the different constructs that earlier research suggests in terms of defining 'models' and 'styles' of police service provision. Using these, the recent historical developments of the actual practices in America and Britain and their