Journal Article

Performance Management in France: A Police or an Electoral Issue?

Sebastian Roche

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 2, issue 3, pages 331-339
Published in print January 2008 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online January 2008 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI:
Performance Management in France: A Police or an Electoral Issue?

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The issue of police performance in France has gained ground. However, its significance must be questioned. In this paper, four issues are considered. The first is related to recent changes in public finance rules in line with New Public Management practices. The second is related to the incremental changes in technical tools used to measure police activity and success at the operational level. The third issue is strategic performance management. Management of performance appears to be at best nascent and at worst a disguise for old structures and practices (sometimes favouring malpractice). The paper concludes that the reality of police performance management can be best explained with reference to its function in the political arena. The management of police performance became a weapon in the recent French elections because it emphasized the ‘results’ of the minister or government in charge. In the short run, the political dimension of police performance appears to be the key focus of the two last governments at the expense of real changes in police performance management as a means of increasing police efficiency, adaptation and police legitimacy generally.

Journal Article.  5041 words. 

Subjects: Policing

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