Journal Article

The ‘Small-scale Initiative’; the Rhetoric and the Reality of Community Policing in Australia

Jenny Fleming and Juani O'Reilly

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 1, issue 2, pages 214-222
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online August 2007 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI:
The ‘Small-scale Initiative’; the Rhetoric and the Reality of Community Policing in Australia

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Australian police jurisdictions engage in several forms of community policing. Numerous initiatives in all states and territories are delivered through a range of programs. Common to these programs is a commitment to community engagement and participation. This article briefly examines community policing practice in Australia and considers the challenges of developing a comprehensive community policing model. It suggests that community policing in Australia is not a fully developed concept and its approach is essentially ‘small scale’, ie. a local approach intended to bring police into non-confrontational contact with the community. The article considers the organisational and managerial constraints that hinder the development of strong community policing models in Australia. It argues that conflicting governing structures, the absence of legislative and policy support, an emphasis on performance management in a highly politicised environment and the expectations of a community whose support is imperative to police legitimacy are the primary constraining factors.

Journal Article.  3678 words. 

Subjects: Policing

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