Community policing seems always in vogue, yet its essential qualities remain elusive. There has been a rush to evaluate community policing before commentators have got to grips with what community police officers do which is distinctive. This book demonstrates, in detail, how community police officers go about such matters as gathering crime-relevant information from people in the local community, how they apply informal social control to public disorder situations, and how they 'play' the police organization itself in order to obtain resources they need and to secure their own advancement. However, such a brief is not sufficient in itself. The point is to use such a discussion of working practices to assess the conceptual apparatus which has been developed to understand community policing, and to evaluate the potential of community policing to achieve the objectives which policy-makers have set for it. That is the agenda of this book.
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