Policing Models and Crime Analysis

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Law enforcement is an important part of any country’s political and social systems. Police officers and other law enforcement workers are responsible for establishing justice. Therefore, it is essential to ensure an efficient and well-functioning system of policing that will allow not only to address the incidents of crime as they occur but to prevent all possible threats from happening. In recent decades, policing models have been closely related to crime analysis, as this practice provides police agencies with a broader insight into the causes and preconditions of criminal activities. Four policing models will be presented in this paper, and crime analysis will be discussed in terms of its beneficial application in two of these models.

There are different models of policing analyzed in political science and policy literature, and four main models can be distinguished based on the research conducted. These include the professional model of policing, community policing, problem-oriented policing, and security-oriented policing. Within the first model, the main goal of police officers is rapidly responding to crimes. This model was commonly used in police departments from 1920-1970 because it was viewed as an effective crime control strategy (Kappeler et al., 2020). To ensure control of personnel misconduct and corruption, special focus was placed on the officer’s professional qualities, such as organization and self-discipline. Although this model allowed better supervision over personnel than the approaches used earlier, it is now seen as too narrow and not efficient in terms of crime prevention. While the police force was well-trained and organized enough to react rapidly to the incidents of crime, it was not competent in terms of preventing them.

The community policing model was introduced as a replacement for the professional model in the early 1970s. Researchers and critics claimed the latter to have the tendency of “isolating police officers from the community”, and this alienation was claimed to be closely related to the principles of professional policing (Kappeler et al., 2020, p. 12). Community policing, in turn, aims to address the problem of high crime rates by using proactive intervention and horizontal communication flow between police and the community. Unlike the professional policing model, where the main measurement of success was arrest and crime rates, community policing relied on a range of different aspects showing its success. Thus, among other things, it focused on community-police linkages and cooperation, social fear reduction, a call for service, and safer neighborhoods.

Within the model of community policing, the problem-oriented model of policing was developed as a more focused approach to specific problems raised in the community. It was introduced in the 1980s as one of the key policing models and suggested closer analysis of patterns and preconditions of different incidents of crime. Similar to the community model, this approach implied horizontal communication between police and the community. However, problem-oriented policing allowed police officers to engage in the process of solving the problems raised in the communities they serve without the assistance or approval of those communities. Police analyzed the nature of a given problem and developed a strategy to address it, which may or may not have involved discretion, community cooperation, or the support of the members of the community.

The fourth model is the security policing model developed in the 1990s. As the name implies, this model was security-centered and, compared to the models discussed above, placed a much heavier focus on the strategies to build a safer community and introduce effective anti-terrorism and counter-terrorism measures. This approach was largely based on the situational crime prevention theory, which promotes preventative measures rather than addressing the crime when it occurs or solving its consequences (Lambert, 2018). Contrary to the community model and problem-oriented policing, this approach implies a downward communication flow from police to the community. This means that community involvement was fully dependent on the threat at hand.

Crime analysis is a highly important practice to discuss in relation to the models of policing. First mentioned and defined in Wilson’s Police Administration in the early 1960s, crime analysis has been a practice of major significance ever since. It received a particular “renewed interest” at the time when problem-oriented policing was emerging as the main approach used in police agencies. This is due to the fact that crime analysis provides a broader understanding of crime as a problem rather than “focusing on individual incidents” (Walker & Drawve, 2018, p. 18). Since effective crime prevention is the main goal of problem-oriented policing, this model can benefit most from crime analysis practices. The second model of policing that benefits from crime analysis the most is security policing. Being a relatively recent model, it involves the widespread use of technological advancements. These are now associated with both criminal activities and new possibilities for preventing such misuse of information technologies. Consequently, crime analysis has also seen significant growth throughout the 21st century.

It can be concluded that all policing models of the past have helped to develop a better policing system. Although all models have advantages and disadvantages, analyzing them will allow to development of strategies and approaches used in police agencies today. To ensure effective crime prevention, it is essential to implement crime analysis practices. Problem-oriented policing and security policing are arguably two models that can benefit most from crime analysis, as this practice focuses on preventing the problem and is constantly improving due to technological progress.

References

Kappeler, V. E., Gaines, L. K., & Schaefer, B. (2020). Community policing: A contemporary perspective (8th ed.). Routledge.

Lambert, D. E. (2018). Addressing challenges to Homeland Security information sharing in American policing: Using Kotter’s leading change model. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 30(8), 1250-1278. Web.

Walker, J. T., & Drawve, G. R. (2018). Foundations of crime analysis: Data, analyses, and mapping. Routledge.

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