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What Matters In Policing?Change, values and leadership in turbulent times$
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Auke van Dijk, Frank Hoogewoning, and Maurice Punch

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447326915

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447326915.001.0001

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Sea of troubles: the nature of policing

Sea of troubles: the nature of policing

(p.69) Three Sea of troubles: the nature of policing
What Matters In Policing?

Auke van Dijk

Frank Hoogewoning

Maurice Punch

Policy Press

The evidence from police research consistently emphasizes that the police organization cannot have a major impact on crime. Police perform many tasks and therefore it is distorting to make crime control the sole priority. An undue accent on fighting crime can alienate the public which is more concerned with a sense of safety and security than with crime itself and also with being treated properly by police. Of pivotal concern is that there is trust in the police leading to compliance, cooperation and information. The police organization is essentially two organizations in one, and this places demands on the quality of leadership at all levels of the organization. Also, negative features of police occupational culture and the occurrence of deviance within the organization place strong demands on the required ‘moral strength’ of police leadership. Given the highly symbolic significance of policing accountability necessarily takes centre stage, including operational accountability with regard to commanding operations. Dealing with major incidents in an effective, just and accountable manner must be an integral part of police leadership. In essence, accountability is as much if not more about culture and values as about structure and formal obligations.

Keywords:   police research, crime fighting, trust, organization, culture, corruption, accountability, values, moral

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