The Technology of Policing: Crime Mapping, Information Technology, and the Rationality of Crime Control

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NYU Press, Mar 1, 2008 - Social Science - 323 pages
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With the rise of surveillance technology in the last decade, police departments now have an array of sophisticated tools for tracking, monitoring, even predicting crime patterns. In particular crime mapping, a technique used by the police to monitor crime by the neighborhoods in their geographic regions, has become a regular and relied-upon feature of policing. Many claim that these technological developments played a role in the crime drop of the 1990s, and yet no study of these techniques and their relationship to everyday police work has been made available.

Noted scholar Peter K. Manning spent six years observing three American police departments and two British constabularies in order to determine what effects these kinds of analytic tools have had on modern police management and practices. While modern technology allows the police to combat crime in sophisticated, detail-oriented ways, Manning discovers that police strategies and tactics have not been altogether transformed as perhaps would be expected. In The Technology of Policing, Manning untangles the varying kinds of complex crime-control rhetoric that underlie much of today’s police department discussion and management, and provides valuable insight into which are the most effective—and which may be harmful—in successfully tracking criminal behavior.

The Technology of Policing offers a new understanding of the changing world of police departments and information technology’s significant and undeniable influence on crime management.


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Page 11 - As over against the inferential conception of motives as subjective 'springs' of action, motives may be considered as typical vocabularies having ascertainable functions in delimited societal situations. Human actors do vocalize and impute motives to themselves and to others. To explain behavior by referring it to an inferred and abstract 'motive' is one thing. To analyze the observable lingual mechanisms of motive imputation and avowal, as they function in conduct, is quite another.
Page 11 - in" an individual, motives are the terms with which interpretation of conduct by social actors proceeds. This imputation and avowal of motives by actors are social phenomena to be explained. The differing reasons men give for their actions are not themselves without reasons.

About the author (2008)

Peter K. Manning is Elmer V. H. and Eileen M. Brooks Chair in Policing, College of Criminal Justice, Northeastern University. He is the author of numerous books, most recently Policing Contingencies and The Privatization of Policing: Two Views (with Brian Forst).

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