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Round Up and Critical Assessment (From Evaluating Community Policing, P 193-201, 2003, Tom Van den Broeck, Christian Eliaerts, eds., -- See NCJ-203040)

NCJ Number
Lode Van Outrive
Date Published
9 pages
This article discusses community policing and problem-solving policing as policing models and a principle of democracy.
Community policing (CP) is a term that covers many diverse ways of doing police work. A number of common characteristics and conditions can be observed and must be fulfilled. CP is linked to another model, the so-called problem-solving policing (PSP), which states that policing must be result-oriented. The main organizational change is radical decentralization in the organization of police forces, so that officers can work in close cooperation with the population. Grass roots officers are given more responsibility to interact and to solve problems by means other than law enforcement. The aim its to prioritize ways of maintaining law and order and to find solutions for problems in an interactive way. CP officers must be accountable not only to their superiors, but also to the political authorities and to the people. CP is of concern to the entire city or region and all their relevant police forces. Reducing crime, disorder, and fear of crime is a fundamental aim that must be a part of an overall improvement of the physical and social environment and quality of life. There are policing methods other than CP-PSP. The three traditional models are quasi- or para-military policing, the legalist or intensive law enforcement policing, and the broad scope policing. CP-PSP and other policing methods could be combined, incorporating elements from other models. In a time when the diverse kinds of policing have to adapt to changing societal and technical contexts, there is a need to find common denominators. There is one basic element: working with information and the gathering of intelligence on problematic situations or sections of the population. For CP-PSP to succeed a number of conditions need to be fulfilled and a number of internal and external obstacles removed. The CP-PSP model is closely linked to the principle of democracy. The idea of community implies democracy when it includes participation and response to needs that are formulated at community level. 9 references