Elements of a Theory of Policing

Jean‐Paul Brodeur

in The Policing Web

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780199740598
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199866083 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Crime and Public Policy

Elements of a Theory of Policing

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Chapter 4 is divided into two parts. The first is devoted to the current definition of the police by their use of force, initially formulated by Egon Bittner. This was accepted by nearly all policing researchers, who are now working within the “police use of force paradigm” (PUFP). The features of the PUFP are the following: a historical perspective, depoliticization, exclusive focus on public uniformed police, crisis intervention, potential rather than actual use of minimal force, unlimited scope of the police mandate, emphasis on individual rather than collective conflicts, public demand for the use of force, and social consent to be policed. The proposed alternative definition does not reject the PUFP but integrates it into a broader context, where the police are defined by their authority to use legally a wide array of means, including violence, that are prohibited as legal violations to the rest of the population.

Keywords: police; definition; paradigm; force; consent; legalization

Chapter.  15018 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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