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Major reforms and challenges for European police Prof.dr. Pieter Tops Police Academy of the Netherlands Tilburg University.

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Presentation on theme: "Major reforms and challenges for European police Prof.dr. Pieter Tops Police Academy of the Netherlands Tilburg University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Major reforms and challenges for European police Prof.dr. Pieter Tops Police Academy of the Netherlands Tilburg University

2 Presentation in three parts General reforms and challenges Economic crisis and the police The police and social media

3 Developments and challenges 1 1.Reducing crime in times of severe budget cuts 2.Towards a stronger national framework (national police) 3.Political sensitivity and operational (or: professional) independence

4 Developments and challenges 2 4.Enhancing police authority in a world of strong polarization 5.Freeing policemen ´on the ground´ from the administrative burden 6.Creating effective networks around criminal investigation (nationally and locally)

5 Developments and challenges 3 7. Strengthen the idea of the police as a ´learning´ organization 8. Professional resilience as a new challenge

6 Development 1 Reducing crime in times of severe budget cuts –The golden decade for the policebudget is over –Police-economics will become more and more important –The benefits of prevention –What is the relationship between police numbers and police output (organisational resilience) –What do we expect of citizens, public organizations and the private sector

7 Development 2 Towards a stronger national framework (national police) –General trend in many countries: netherlands, denmark, sweden, scotland –Not in England, Belgium –Necessitated by developments in crime patterns –And a more efficient police (reducing overhead) –Or a desire to firmer political control over the police? –Room for local police –Upward pull: national decision-making is stronger organized (how to counterbalance)

8 Some figures Finland: From 90 to 24 districts (2009) Sweden: From 118 to 21 districts (1998) Norway (national police): From 54 to 27 districts (2004) Denmark (national police): From 54 forces to 12 districts (2007) Netherlands (national police): from 26 forces to 11 districts (2012) Scotland (national police??): from 8 forces to ?

9 Development 3 Political sensitivity and operational (or: professional) independence - Beyond simple performance indicators (?) –In a ‘drama-democracy’, with a strong influence of media, police is more and more a leading player –Old distinctions don’t work anymore, for instance: –The ‘what’ and the ‘how’: the how becomes more and more politically relevant –The temptation of political interference will be encouraged by ‘nationalisation’-tendencies –Political interference in policing or police interference in politics? –The right to be consulted, to encourage and to warn

10 Development 4 Enhancing police authority in a world of strong polarization –Political polarization creates tensions in society –Important to keep the police out of this polarization, but will be a challenge –New balance between policing by consent and policing by force? Rougher and tougher?

11 Development 5 Freeing policemen ´on the ground´ from the administrative burden –police officers spent about half of their time on administrative activities –detrimental for the ‘morale of the troops’ –Technology promises enlightenment/change –The importance of rti

12 Development 6 Creating effective networks around criminal investigation –The necessity of participating in networks –Cultural change –Sharing intelligence –Coproduction with citizens, ‘to catch criminals in the act’ –Also internationally: ‘Why is multilateral cooperation (europol, interpol) the weakest link in international police cooperation?’

13 Development 7 Strengthen the idea of the police as a ´learning´ organization –Higher educated police officers?? –Innovation without learning is a sheer waste of time –The importance of research and knowledge: but: knowledge kills action?? –Does politics really want the police to be smart?

14 Development 8 Professional resilience as a new challenge –police is a high risk profession: agression and violence –But also: organization stress –Many policeman do suffer from tensions, related to work (in the netherlands approximateley 20%, costs between 250 and 400 million euros per year).

15 To sum up: ingredients of the strategic agenda of the police Budget cuts “nationalization” Stronger political interference More policing by force Less administrative burden More networking Learning organization Personal resilience

16 The economic crisis: a scenario study (2009)

17 Scenario study: After the crisis Long term effects of the financial & economic crisis for the police Two assumptions: –Financial & economic crisis have long term effects for society –have long term effects for the police: budget cuts, but also on crime itself (nature & extent)

18 Most important incertainties Core uncertainties Economic growth: recovery or deterioration Economic inequality: long term increase or decrease Unemployment long term: affects the young & lower educated (dis)proportionally Most plausible scenarios Gradual recovery Collective impoverishment Deepened dichotomy

19 Three plausible scenarios Economic growth? Yes No

20 Three plausible scenarios Economic growth? Yes No 1. Gradual recovery Economic equality: (dis)proportionality less relevant, as long as all groups benefit

21 Three plausible scenarios Economic growth? Yes No No growth of economic inequality 1. Gradual recovery 2. Collective impoverishment (dis)proportionality less relevant, as long as all groupsbenefit

22 Three plausible scenarios Economic growth? Yes No (dis)proportional does not matter, as long as all classes benefit No increase of economic inequality No economic growth Economic inequality increases disproportionally 1. Gradual recovery 2. Collective impoverishment 3. Deepened dichotomy

23 Strategic tasks police Gradual recovery. No clear societal need, no budget cuts: less pressure to improve. Current safety topics remain: international cooperation + local demand. Collective impoverishment. ‘Survival crime’, police need to visibly confirm norms; compliance; intelligence & investigation, cooperation in enforcement and prosecution. Deepened dichotomy. Public disorder in cities, hard property crime, police need to keep peace & stay in balance (advantaged vs disadvanteged), public order management.

24 Conclusions Plausible short term: Budget cuts will force police to innovate Fraude & property crimes (virtual & physical) Budget cuts public sector: more societal problems for police! Growing tensions Long term: different possibilities Robust topics, that are here to stay: finec, cybercrime Massive enforcement efforts (investigation and intelligence) New strategies in Public Order Management

25 Social media: Wisdom of Crowds or/and vehicle of social Disorder?

26 Social media and the police From ‘facebook revolution’ to ‘blackberry riots’ Community police officers Crisis communication Keeping public order after incidents Flash mobs Cold cases You tube (cctv images) Digital csi Conclusion: it is not at the fringe of policing, it is at the core

27 Social media: what are we talking about? Social network sites: hyves, facebook, linked-in Bottom up broadcasting: twitter, you tube Interactive blogs on public issues: geenstijl.nl; fok.nl; joop.nl Object organized experiences and comments: bookings.com for hotels Online collaboration and creation of content: wikipedia

28 gigabytes of information (biljons)

29 Number of tweets per day in millions

30 Social media: Add a new dimension to reality, in which order has to be organised (i.g. public discussion around incidents) Intensify processes of information and communication in and around the police (i.g. you tube) Encourage certain police strategies (i.g. intelligence led policing, catching someone in the act)

31 General characteristics The swarm or school potential of social media: groups of people acting spontaneously but concertedly like a swarm of bees or a school of fish (e.g. the protests in Egypt). The sudden explosion potential of social media: because of the multipliers and accelerators built in the nature of network media small and local matters can rapidly become large scale and global matters. The synergy potential of social media: social media enable synergy because of the logic of joining small contributions.

32 General characteristics The swarm potential of social media The synergy potential of social media The sudden explosion potential of social media Is this new? No, as far as the phenomena as such are concerned Yes, as far as the speed and the potential impact are concerned

33 Impact Actual impact of social media depends on whether online process is reflective, deliberative, and critical; in other words, sometimes social media merely multiply a message, an issue or an opinion, while under different conditions social media verify and enrich a message, an issue or an opinion. We thus observe two kinds of impact of social media: Enabling the wisdom of crowds Creating a new vehicle of social disorder Both are true!!

34 The wisdom of crowds (1) The reflective, deliberative, and critical potention of social media is fully developed. Social media thus provide an excellent tool to use the wisdom of crowds (“large groups of people are smarter than an expert few”). Implications:

35 The wisdom of crowds (2) Police tasks: Social media are useful tools for (1) crime detection, crime prevention, and detecting possible threats, (2) gathering evidence and test its trustworthiness, (3) using public opinion to provide meaningful information on citizen satisfaction Social media also create social orders which are self- organized and largely self-corrective; social order is primarily preserved horizontally without the police

36 The wisdom of crowds (3) Police strategy: ambient policing Police presence in all types of social media: connectedness Every user becomes an extension of the police: intelligence Deliberation and discussion on criminal cases is promoted and actively stimulated by the police (by providing information, asking questions, and so on): verification Examples: early detection possible hooliganism in Rotterdam, solving cold cases

37 vehicle of social disorder (1) Only the multiplier effect of social media further develops. A continuous explosion of small-scale messages without a filtering and reflective process. Implications:

38 vehicle of social disorder (2) Police tasks: The police are frequently misguided by alleged crimes, putative evidence, and possible disorder Social order within social media contexts is not preserved by self-organization; new challenges to ‘virtual’ public order management?

39 vehicle of social disorder (3) Police strategy: social media are an object for police investigation, not an object to ‘connect’ with The need for a strategy to cope with the continuous stream of false alarm, misguiding intelligence, and exploding public debate on individual cases and indicdents New tools for distinguishing distortion from signals? Examples: debate on a missing girl in Dordrecht (Milly Boele), criminals using social media to distract the police (e.g. a possible riot in a Rotterdam bar, terrorist websites)

40 What can the police do? Social media are here to stay: develop a policy Accept the essential ambiguity of social media Be connected to developments, also in terms of staff (youngsters) and tools Develop bottom up learning strategies within the force Select leaders that can handle ‘fuzzy logics’ Learn to detect relevant signals in information ‘obesitas’ Redefine certain elements of police identity: e.g. police are a reliable guardian of privacy …… …….


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