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NCJ Number: 192152 Find in a Library
Title: Community Policing and Democratic Policing: Will the Two Ever Meet? (A Belgian Perspective) (From Policing, Security and Democracy: Special Aspects of Democratic Policing, P 63-78, 2001, Stanley Einstein and Menachem Amir, eds. -- See NCJ-192149)
Author(s): Tom Van den Broeck
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Office of International Criminal Justice
Huntsville, TX 77342-1819
Sale Source: Office of International Criminal Justice
P.O. Box 1819
Huntsville, TX 77342-1819
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the possible democratization of policing through the establishment of community policing.
Abstract: This is done through the examination of data that were collected during several years of research on the establishment of a local community-oriented policing policy in Belgium. Local experiments in community policing are analyzed with regard to community-policing principles and its two conceptual poles: problem-oriented policing (POP) and community-oriented policing (COP). In addition, the relationship between POP, "zero-tolerance," and "broken windows" theory is discussed. Community policing was first promoted on a large scale in Belgium in 1992 as part of a sizeable governmental crime prevention program for the inner cities. The Belgian state police, as part of its own cultural change, initiated a de-militarization of the police at the end of 1991, so as to develop its own form of problem-oriented policing policy. This policy also encouraged a form of cooperation between the police and the public. Moreover, in several areas and city districts, citizen networks were established to cooperate with police forces. They tend to be composed of shopkeepers or residents, primarily from the "better" neighborhoods" that are threatened or exposed to criminal acts such as burglary and armed robberies. These neighborhood networks contain an underlying vision of "alien threat" and therefore focus on crime-related problems. Outsiders that infiltrate the community are being monitored. The danger of some community policing manifestations is that it is reduced to an exclusive cooperation between police and a narrow sample of "law abiding citizens." In this respect, COP will be involved in defending only specific interests of the most influential community members. Still, there are other manifestations of COP in which police cooperate with social workers and other disciplines to address community conditions that foment crime. It is crucial that all community policing endeavors be evaluated to determine the practical form they take in particular communities, so as to avoid a narrow approach to identifying and addressing community conditions that undermine the quality of life for all residents. 51 references and 24 notes
Main Term(s): Community policing
Index Term(s): Belgium; Community involvement; Community relations; Community resources; Foreign police; Police effectiveness; Problem-Oriented Policing; Professional conduct and ethics
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