The people's police? Citizens, consumers and communities

John Clarke

in The consumer in public services

Published by Policy Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9781847421814
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303725 | DOI:
The people's police? Citizens, consumers and communities

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Policing has an uncomfortable relationship to the dominant model of public service reform because of its relationship to law and the exercise of legal authority by police officers. This chapter draws on empirical work in two English urban settings to consider how both the police and the public view the usefulness of the ideas of consumers and customers. It then considers the idea of communities as a collective customer or user, raising some questions about how communities are to be discovered and engaged in the business of policing, with links to anxieties about local accountability in the recent Flanagan Report on the future of policing in England and Wales (2008). The chapter concludes by reflecting on the problematic relationship between publics, politics, and power in policing.

Keywords: policing; public service reform; legal authority; English urban settings; politics

Chapter.  6572 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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