Journal Article

We Could be Criticized! Policing and Risk Aversion

Robert Heaton

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 5, issue 1, pages 75-86
Published in print March 2011 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online May 2010 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI:
We Could be Criticized! Policing and Risk Aversion

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Rob Heaton is a serving police officer in Kent Police. He was awarded a M.Sc. degree in 1996 and Ph.D. in 2007. He has published several papers about the effects of policing upon crime rates, and the demands on the police service in relation to its resources.

The term ‘risk aversion’ has become increasingly common throughout the public sector. In the context of policing, concerns have been expressed that risk aversion and related bureaucracy have become an impediment to the service in the fulfilment of its core functions. The article examines the reasons for the growth in risk aversion and its effects upon policing. Significant challenges have been recently made in the form of the Flanagan Report and subsequent Green and White Papers, together with the Home Office-sponsored ‘Reducing Bureaucracy in Policing’ report. The likelihood that these developments will halt or reverse the forces of risk aversion is assessed as uncertain.

Journal Article.  6052 words. 

Subjects: Policing

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