Community policing has always fluctuated between being praised for its nature and importance in the field of policing, and being looked down on for its measurement difficulties. Despite the latter, which has been one of the principal reasons for the cyclical demise of community policing from both operational and tactical perspectives, its core principles keep coming back to the forefront of the political scene and to the vanguard of policing initiatives. The authors argue that in recent years, this comeback has taken a new form, with police forces placing a different spin on their approach to community policing and particularly, on their efforts at policing communities. Indeed, it seems that in a bid to address ongoing societal concerns for professionalism and ethical conduct, police forces have developed a new way to conceive of community policing. This new conception is based on a different understanding of community which is not only (in some cases, not at all) geographically-defined, but also determined by the shared vulnerabilities of some individuals. The coherence of such groupings is based on the 'strong identification of individual persons as group members by external observers' (May 1987, p. 115). Australian Aborigines, American Blacks, women, homeless people, etc. constitute the sorts of groups to which May is referring. So too do children, youth, many disabled people, many people from non-English speaking backgrounds and others who have been legally defined as vulnerable.
|Name||AIC Reports, Research and Public Policy Series 111|
|Publisher||Australian Institute of Criminology|