The book “Community Policing – A European Perspective Strategies, Best Practices and Guidelines“ is in the process of being published by the Springer publishing house for July 2017. Please click the link for more information http://www.springer.com/in/book/9783319533957
Book editor Ruža Karlović provided an overview of the content;
The book editors (P. Saskia Bayerl, Ruža Karlović, Babak Akhgar, Garik Markarian) are also partners on the Unity project. Therefore this book can be counted as one of the dissemination methods within the Unity project. However, the book was written by a multidisciplinary team of experts who have contributed to this book, sharing their knowledge, experience and latest research. Particularly the book benefited from numerous collaborative projects, sponsored by the European Union within the FP7 and Horizon 2020 Research Frameworks. These projects (UNITY, INSPEC2T, NEXES and TENSOR, to name just a few) are interdisciplinary research projects involving numerous academic institutions, industrial companies and Law Enforcement Agencies aiming to strengthen connections between the police and communities in order to maximise the safety, security, freedom, justice and quality of life of all European citizens. The projects take into account a diverse nature of European society and propose new and innovative ways of delivering Community Policing in Europe.
Our book is based on the premise that developing successful CP procedures depends on the overall socio-political state in each country. In other words, an important determinant for public safety is the lifestyle and culture of members of that society. Citizens are expected to abide by the rules and laws and to be responsible for themselves and each other, while services and institutions care for those that are incapable of doing so. In order for a society to function, individuals must accept certain limitations to their personal freedoms allowing a minimal consensus about how to protect the public interests of the various communities in their country. Community policing is a concept that aims to bring communities and the police together to enable co-creation of safety.
We live in an interconnected world which brings significant benefits and challenges to our society. The book is organised in three parts, 18 chapters at 269 pages.
In Part 1 we discuss the influence of the social context on policing in general and community policing in particular with a specific focus on the context-specific nature of “European” community policing. The conclusion is that CP is an ambiguous concept. The local implementation is highly contingent on the local context, mutual trust and perceived legitimacy between the police and the local community, both in the traditional policing sense and the expanded CP conceptualization. It is thus highly improbable that just simply “importing” CP best practices developed in a given context and at a given time to another place and time could produce the same positive results. Still, to develop country-specific approaches it is informative to consider experiences with more or less successful practices and experiences in other countries.
Part 2 therefore provides a wide range of examples and case studies of community policing approaches across Europe. These range from addressing radicalization using CP concepts in Germany to understanding citizens’ perceptions of police in Belgium to mediation of conflicts at public events in the UK. Further examples address a review of current approaches to organize citizen participation in Austria and key changes to policing practices after the introduction of CP in Croatia. Many of these examples address modern technologies at the heart of community issues (e.g., in the case of radicalization) or as support for community policing efforts.
In Part 3 of this book we therefore discuss both professional and consumer technology platforms, with special emphases on ICT. We show drawbacks of the existing professional technology platforms and identify ways for improving these system, enabling more efficient CP processes and hopefully outcomes. We also analyse emerging consumer technology platforms and show how these could be incorporated within the existing professional technology platforms to improve interaction between the public and police. This third part starts with an overview of Geographic Information Systems applications for CP, followed by a description of wireless communication systems and the application of social media for vital community policing tasks. We further pay attention to both the benefits and the challenges of cyber security in daily life in general and CP in particular. Furthermore, we present novel techniques for automated identification of unusual behaviours which could dramatically simplify and enhance the delivery of CP. Finally, we provide a framework for the design and evaluation of technologies meant to support community policing.
Our book promotes an approach based on participatory governance and accountability, where CP is managed not only by the police, but by all community stakeholders, and accountability is mutual. The results achieved in CP, being positive or negative, are thus equally shared by all stakeholders, not only the police.
Based on the premise that developing successful CP procedures depends on the overall socio-political state in each country and synthesising the disparate case studies and the evaluation criteria identified we can identify critical success factors (CSFs) for the realisation of Community Policing (regardless of its implementation method), which can be summarized into six fundamental principles:
- Trust building
- Timely information exchange
- Prevention of crime
- Community cohesion
- Engagement and partnership