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Maintenance of Order in Society

NCJ Number
R Donelan
Date Published
156 pages
Symposium papers deal with the role of police in social control, a political sociology of the British police, modern police administration, policing in a political context, private security, police accountability, and social forecasting and the police.
In the opening paper, police approaches to social control throughout the world are described under the classifications of authoritarian, oriental, and Anglo-Saxon, followed by an historical analysis of administering justice without police in 18th century England (criminal trial procedure). The role of sociology in helping the British police to interact with the public more effectively is considered in another paper, and it is urged that sociology assist in rethinking the police task and that channels of communication between researchers and police be established. One presentation advises that the managerial technique of critical-incident analysis is appropriate for modern police administration, as it redirects the police from a means-oriented, internally sensitive organization to one sensitive to the environment and problems experienced by the public. The theme of another paper is that it is unrealistic to expect that the police, who are responsible for social control, will not act politically to preserve order when traditional political arrangements are threatened, but the limits of partisan policing should be clearly delineated. The subsequent presentation suggests that private policing's emphasis on crime prevention and surveillance rather than the investigation of crimes and apprehension of offenders may suggest the effectiveness of such an approach for the public police. The next paper considers that structures for police accountability in Canada are ill-defined, and a proposal is offered for a structure of accountability and the police functions that should be given priority. The concluding paper notes the problems involved in social forecasting and in forecasting the future for policing but suggests that long-range planning, research and development, and police cooperation with other instruments of social change can help determine a more effective form of policing and an improved social climate for the future. Conference discussions and references accompany each paper. For individual entries, see NCJ-88675-81.