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Palgrave Macmillan

Effective Policing?

Implementation in Theory and Practice

ISBN 9781137026781
Publication Date September 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

This book provides a unique insight into the way policing is performed. By embracing both organizational management issues as well as operational police business such as crime reduction and detection, firearms, disorder, organised crime and terrorism, it provides a comprehensive overview of contemporary police theory and practice.

Focusing on the implementation of policing, this book discusses the themes that make police organisations effective (or otherwise) with particular emphasis on the complexity of implementing strategy and tactics in contemporary society. Considering how the police can differ between and within agencies, Kirby critically determines why effective policing takes place as well as explaining why unintended consequences can occur. Supported by interviews with senior police officers and academics in the UK, Australia, Netherlands and the US, this book provides a rich source of case studies exploring a wide range of issues including accountability, organisational culture, decision making and the policing of major incidents at both senior and practitioner level.

This book will be relevant internationally to scholars of criminology and policing, police practitioners and policymakers.

Stuart Kirby is a former police officer and Lecturer in Criminology at Lancaster University, UK.

1. 'There are Police and there are Police', Exploring the Complexity of the Police Operating Framework
2. The Fundamental Building Blocks of Police Effectiveness
3. Reducing Crime
4. Investigating Crime and Bringing Offenders to Justice
5. Policing Critical Incidents and the Use of Force
6. Investigating Serious Organised Crime and Terrorism
7. Conclusion


"This is an outstanding and engaging book that should be read by anyone interested understanding and improving policing. The author's background as a career police officer and his extensive discussions with serving police officers ensure that and his conclusions are relevant to the realities of policing [...] What Stuart Kirby produces is a rich account of the complexity and diversity of the policing task and a telling account of how the service might be made better." - Nick Tilley, UCL, UK
"We all want our police to be effective, but as Stuart Kirby painstakingly points out in this book, this is far easier said than done. Not only do we also want our police to be efficient with our money and fair in how they treat us all, but we cannot even all agree as to what it means for the police to be effective. Kirby debunks many myths and misconceptions about the police, astutely laying out the enormous challenges faced in policing open and free modern societies. This book is a must-read for all interested in improving policing." - Michael S. Scott, University of Wisconsin Law School, USA
"In this timely and important book Stuart Kirby addresses what is now the key issue in policing: how to put into practice the large body of knowledge that has accumulated about best practice. There is much still to be discovered on the topic of effective policing, but we have many answers to essential questions about what constitutes the best strategies and performance measures. The problem is that many, perhaps most, police departments do not take a systematic and comprehensive approach to implementation. This book is therefore highly recommended as a first source for anyone interested in improving policing – whether it be in crime reduction, solving crime or wider service delivery." - Tim Prenzler, Griffith University, Australia
"Policing has for far too long been largely an oral culture and so Stuart Kirby's book is of itself important. That it tackles the often overlooked problem of implementation failure makes it required reading to those who care about policing. Many initiatives in policing are written off not because they are ineffective but because implementation was partial at best. To those who are serious about policing, read on." - Michael Barton, Chief Constable, Durham Constabulary, UK
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