U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

New Ideas in Policing: Learning From Other Countries

NCJ Number
Robert C. Davis; Robert W. Taylor
Date Published
January 2013
23 pages
This study examined what programs and practices have been developed in other countries that might be applied to policing in the United States.
This study identifies four best practices in the area of police-community relationships. For these four case examples, the overall goal is to improve relations between the police and community. Each of the case studies approaches this overall goal in a different and innovative way. Three of the identified best practices are broader strategic programs: 1) The Queensland Community Engagement Trial (QCET) aims to facilitate the establishment of police institutional legitimacy by promoting respectful interactions between the police and the public. 2) The Muslim Safety Forums developed in the United Kingdom provide strategies to enhance the relationship between the police and Muslim communities in the post-9/11 terrorism prevention era. 3) The Strategies for Effective Police Stops and Searches (STEPPS) program, an Open Society Justice Initiative tested in Spain, Bulgaria, and Hungary, focuses on ethnic profiling across Europe. New training programs that focus on developing clear and individualized reasons for police stops as well as more intense scrutiny of such stops by police supervisors show encouraging results in reducing ethnic profiling and increasing trust with minority communities. The fourth best practice is a program used in Australia to map police misconduct and complaints, a relatively small technical effort designed to pinpoint areas where individual officers go awry. Focusing on environmental factors as well as individual behavior, the mapping of police misconduct and complaints through the use of geographic information system technologies examines the relationship between police misconduct and geographic location.