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The consumer in public servicesChoice, values and difference$
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Richard Simmons, Martin Powell, and Ian Greener

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847421814

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847421814.001.0001

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The people's police? Citizens, consumers and communities

The people's police? Citizens, consumers and communities

(p.157) Nine The people's police? Citizens, consumers and communities
The consumer in public services

John Clarke

Policy Press

Policing has an uncomfortable relationship to the dominant model of public service reform because of its relationship to law and the exercise of legal authority by police officers. This chapter draws on empirical work in two English urban settings to consider how both the police and the public view the usefulness of the ideas of consumers and customers. It then considers the idea of communities as a collective customer or user, raising some questions about how communities are to be discovered and engaged in the business of policing, with links to anxieties about local accountability in the recent Flanagan Report on the future of policing in England and Wales (2008). The chapter concludes by reflecting on the problematic relationship between publics, politics, and power in policing.

Keywords:   policing, public service reform, legal authority, English urban settings, politics

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