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NCJ Number: 127175 Find in a Library
Title: Police and the Public in Western Europe: A Precarious Comparison
Journal: Police Journal  Volume:63  Issue:4  Dated:(October-December 1990)  Pages:337-345
Author(s): C J C F Fijnaut
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 9
Type: Presentation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: The speaker discusses distortions of the past and the actual truth in comparing police forces in the continental European countries and those of Great Britain.
Abstract: Talking about distortions, he cites an American author who states that the continental European countries' police forces perform their duties in a much more authoritarian way than do those in Great Britain -- the continental peoples participate less in and have less control over policing, and the police forces are more centralized and military in character. He cites another author who states that continental police forces' ability to enforce law is tied in with their ability to inspire fear and wield tyrannical power. This system perpetuates itself through the people's law-making representatives who use it to stay in power while making unpopular laws. He then cites another author's commentary on the British police that "the police are the public and the public are the police." Regarding the actual situation, he points out that the British police service has undergone many drastic changes within the last 10 to 15 years, the most important of which is the increasing role of the central government. Further, he says, it is impossible to make only one transcontinental comparison.
Main Term(s): Police-citizen interactions
Index Term(s): Police command and control; Public Opinion of the Police; United Kingdom (UK); Western Europe
Note: Text of a lecture delivered at St. Catherine's, Cumberland Lodge, Great Windsor Park, at a conference held on the subject, "The Public and the Police: a better structure for the police in the 1990s."
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