The Policing of Risk

Richard V. Ericson and Kevin D. Haggerty

in Embracing Risk

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780226035185
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226035178 | DOI:
The Policing of Risk

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This chapter examines police as agents of a risk society. Police increasingly function as knowledge collectors for insurance companies and other private and governmental systems of risk assessment and distribution. The chapter explores how policing risk entails population management well beyond crime control per se. In the language of economic sociology, risk management has led policing, like insurance, to become increasingly institutionally embedded. This embeddedness means that external institutions affect how the police investigate crime and classify data. Indeed, the “risk knowledge” requirements of other institutions often determine whether an incident requires police action. The chapter raises questions about the potential consequences of risk management. For example, the recently developed “closed box” classification system of police reporting threatens a significant risk: constricting the space for creative problem solving in crime investigations and analyses.

Keywords: policing; risk assessment; risk distribution; population management; embeddedness; risk management; police action; crime investigation

Chapter.  12203 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Company and Commercial Law

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