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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 202761 Find in a Library
Title: Policing Reform in Northern Ireland
Journal: Police Chief  Volume:70  Issue:10  Dated:October 2003  Pages:40-44
Author(s): Thomas Constantine
Date Published: October 2003
Page Count: 5
Document: HTML
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the police reform effort of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).
Abstract: The PSNI is engaged in an effort that will fundamentally change the culture of the organization, the demographics of the police service, and its relationship with all segments of the community. In the past the composition of the police has been disproportionately Protestant and unionist. The police have been identified by some of the population not primarily as upholders of the law but as defenders of the state. The nature of the state itself has remained the central issue of political argument. Between 1969 and 1998, 302 police officers were killed in the line of duty, and hundreds more were injured or maimed. In 1998, the Good Friday Agreement pointed the way to a new beginning to policing with a police service capable of attracting and sustaining support from the community as a whole. As a result of research and consultations, the Independent Commission Report recommended the appointment of an oversight commissioner with responsibility for supervising the implementation of all 175 recommendations; ensuring that the recommendations were implemented comprehensively and faithfully; and assuring the community as a whole that all aspects of the Independent Commission Report were being implemented. These recommendations involved policing strategies for human rights, accountability, community policing, and public-order policing. A central component of the oversight plan is to conduct periodic discussions with leading law enforcement experts that are still active in policing. The Independent Commission’s recommendations are perhaps the most comprehensive and complex set of police reforms attempted in a democratic society. Implementing these recommendations is a challenging task for the police service. Each recommendation requires a significant application of resources and effort to be realized. But as a result of extensive research, analysis of policies, and field evaluations, it is the opinion of the oversight team that there has been substantial overall progress made in fulfilling the Independent Commission’s intentions. 1 endnote
Main Term(s): Northern Ireland; Police reform
Index Term(s): Community policing; Foreign police; Future of policing; History of policing; Police community relations programs; Police organizational structure; Policing innovation
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