Chapter

Awkward customers? Policing in a consumer age

Louise Westmarland and John Clarke

in Subversive citizens

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9781847422088
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303619 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847422088.003.0011
Awkward customers? Policing in a consumer age

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This chapter explores the problematic relationship between the consumerist orientation of New Labour's approach to public service reform and the organisation of the police as guardians of law and order. Police reform has always been a contentious issue, often provoking resistance and recalcitrance within the police service itself. In this case, the reform process creates potential tensions between the remit of serving the public and the responsibility of exercising legal authority. The discussion draws on empirical work in two English urban settings to consider how both police and public view ideas of a consumer/customer orientation in policing to examine the unsettled relationships between publics and police.

Keywords: consumerist orientation; New Labour; public service; police reform; legal authority

Chapter.  6565 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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