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The ‘Tragedy’ of Public Guardianship what is it, and what can we do about it? Prof. Tim Hope Senior Visiting Research Fellow Scottish Centre for Crime.

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Presentation on theme: "The ‘Tragedy’ of Public Guardianship what is it, and what can we do about it? Prof. Tim Hope Senior Visiting Research Fellow Scottish Centre for Crime."— Presentation transcript:

1 The ‘Tragedy’ of Public Guardianship what is it, and what can we do about it? Prof. Tim Hope Senior Visiting Research Fellow Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research University of Edinburgh ©25 February 2008

2 Flanagan Review (2008) “…I believe the most critical shift which needs to occur is to enhance the responsiveness and answerability of policing services in local communities. To achieve this, we must bring about an acceleration in fully adopting a citizen- focused approach to policing; putting customer service and the interests and needs of local people at the core of priority setting”. (Para. 7.23)… …but what are the interests and needs of local people? How do we find out? How do we respond?

3 The public’s need for guardianship What is guardianship for? –Respect for individual citizens’ privacy (including property) rights Platonic Guardianship –Enforcing the social norm –Collective security without individual protection Protective Guardianship –safeguarding inalienable privacy –Individual protection without collective security Problems of optimising Guardianship

4 Dilemmas In The Supply Of Public Guardianship The ‘Reassurance Gap’ Problem – why has fear of crime/estimation of risk increased relative to actual risk? Realist solution - an informational/cultural problem –‘Education’ about ‘real’ level of risk (fear reduction) –Directly addressing local needs and fears Reassurance Policing, Neighbourhood policing Customer-focussed Policing (Flanagan) Alternatively, a problem of the Paradox of Insatiable Demand

5 I. The Paradox of Insatiable demand

6 Paradox of Insatiable Demand Demand for Platonic Guardianship is absolute (freedom from risk: perfect, personal security: 24/7) Demand for Protective Guardianship is relative (positional security relative to risk) The Paradox of Public Demand: citizens use their experiential (positional) information on risk to value their (lack of) absolute security The Paradox of Supply: public policing seeks to deliver Protective Guardianship as if it were Platonic (i.e. as if it were a universal public good)

7 Satisfaction with Supply of Public Guardianship Satisfaction (Platonic) Supply (Protective) Reassurance Gap Congestion

8 Public Guardianship – a Tragedy of the Commons Response = 1 AB C D

9 Demand for Public Guardianship – a Tragedy of the Commons Prisoner’s Dilemma Game (PDG) Public Guardianship = 1 B + C + D CallDon’t call A Call Don’t call

10 Public Guardianship – a Tragedy of the Commons a.Shared Policing = 1/n = ¼ = 0.25 of a response each b.Exclusive Policing = 1 response, exclusively Agent {A,B,C,D} = [(-0.25B) + (-0.25C) + (-0.25D)] = 1 c.‘Reassurance Gap’ = (a.) – (b.) = 0.25 – 0.75 = d.But since calling is the dominant (most rational) strategy for every Agent (PDG) ~ unrestricted agent calling e.Consequence of unrestricted agent calling: Agent {A,B,C,D} = 0.25 – [(B+0.25) + (C+0.25) + (D+0.25)] 0.25 – 0.75 = f.Therefore, congestion of demand: The ‘commons’ (public policing) is depleted by Agents’ rational action g.Congestion = Reassurance Gap

11 II. The Invocation of Authority Calling the police

12 THE GREY-FIGURE Tolerance and Criminalisation · ‘Incidents’ (calls, occurrences, reports, etc.) as the ‘third measure’ of crime – little exploited in research · Incidents as an index of the public’s decisions to invoke police authority · Recorded crime as an index of the police decision to invoke the criminal law as a response · Home Office Review of Crime Statistics 2000 (Simmons), examined police recording practice. Distinguishes between: · Prima facie recording – records allegations from the public · Evidential recording – investigates allegations for criminal content prior to recording · ‘Official’ concerns are about the accuracy and equity of the light figure and its relationship to the dark figure – i.e. to ‘standardise’ the grey-figure (police recording) · But what does it tell us about “the policing of communications about risk in late modern society” (Erikson and Haggerty, 1997)? · The relationship between ‘calls’ and ‘crimes’ – reciprocal variation in the respective norms of (1) the invocation of police authority by the public (tolerance) and (2) the invocation of the criminal law by the police (criminalisation)

13 The Realist Model Need All incidents Calls Recorded Crime Response

14 Need All incidents Calls Recorded Crime The Zero-tolerance Model Response

15 The Mobilization Model Need All incidents Calls Recorded Crime Response

16 III. Who calls? Collective efficacy (social capital)

17 Vertical and Horizontal Dimensions Social Capital Solidaristic communities Disorganised communities Cosmopolitan communities Exclusive communities Cultural and Human Capital

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19 IV. The relationship between calls and crimes

20 Data and Variables Lancashire County/Constabulary:281 Wards (average 3,000 households) More Calls (incidents) than (recorded) crimes Extract non-criminal incidents (As & Es) Excess (Calls-Crimes)

21 Why do people call the police? Invocation of authority vs. self-help vs. tolerance (benign) vs. tolerance (fatalistic) Public-interest vs. self-interest vs. collective (group) interest. Private concerns vs. public concerns Solo-calls vs. multiple calls

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23 Variation in ‘Excess’ calling between Offence Types Calls for Disorder (violence and anti-social behaviour) –Offences in public –Mass reporting –Reflects public concerns (Platonic Security) Calls for Acquisitive incidents –Offences against private property –Individual reporting –Reflects private concerns (Protective Security)

24 The relationship between calls and crime Are these ratios constant across different types of community and, if not, which model is correct? –Realist, disorder or mobilization? What explains variation in the ratio? Ratio: the relative excess of calls over crime –i.e. the proportion of calls for an area that are not turned into crimes (the excess rate) 100% = no calls have been recorded as crimes 0 = all calls have been turned into crimes

25 Explanatory Variables Social Deprivation Racial Heterogeneity –If n.(Ethnic Groups) = 2, then 0 = 100:0 and 1 = 50:50 Disinvestment –Empty household spaces –Rate of mobility Bridging social capital –community groups –Available public services Linking social capital –Personal political efficacy (voter turnout in local elections) –Personal cultural efficacy (entrants to Higher Education)

26 Social capital Social NeedsSocial Capital DisinvestmentBonding Social Capital Disinvestment.56-- Bridging Social Capital Linking Social Capital

27 Nuisance and violent crime Social Need Dis- investment Bridging Linking Nuisance & Violent Crime

28 Nuisance and violent excess rate Social Need Dis- investment Bridging Linking Nuisance & Violent Excess

29 Nuisance and violent crime Social Need Dis- investment Bridging Linking Nuisance & Violent Crime Racial Heterogeneity.03

30 Nuisance and violent excess rate Social Need Dis- investment Bridging Linking Nuisance & Violent Excess Racial Heterogeneity.30

31 IV. Neighbourhood Watch? Self-help policing – reducing demand? ‘Calling clubs’ - Increasing demand?

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33 Predictors of Participation in the ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ Security Club Good: reduced regression model Source: 1994 British Crime Survey/1991 UK Census (Hope and Lab,2001) VariableBeta weightSignificance (p.) Age of respondent Owner Occupied housing tenure Total household income Proportion of owner occupier households in area Proportion of households renting from public authorities in area Number of types of local groups respondent belongs to (0 - 3) R-squared.260

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35 Alignment of NW availability and victimisation risk (Hope and Trickett, 2004) Aligned Risk = NW Non-aligned Risk > NW Privileged Risk < NW Non-manualRentersOver-60s Children 5-11Rental areaHigh rate of over- 60s in area Detached houseCasual employment Affluent areaHigh rate of teenagers/lone parents in area Enclaves in urban areas Ethnic minorities

36 V. Customer Focus? Policing diverse communities/segmenting the market

37 Exclusion from Security Socially-excluded communities –Criminalisation: all calls treated as crime –only call for Protective Security (if at all) –low sense of personal and collective efficacy –low aspirations for Platonic Security –Crime, criminals and ‘police property’? Deteriorating (disinvesting) communities –‘holes’ in the social fabric (low bridging capital) –low informal social control –Calling for the Platonic Guardians –Broken Windows and The Thin Blue Line?

38 Capturing Security by Mobilizing Authority Efficacious communities –Residents know how to use the system –‘Privatising’ (capturing) public guardianship (insatiable demand) –Prestige and police response: ‘social servility’? Exclusive communities –Strong internal norms (platonic guardianship) –Strength of weak ties: mobilisation of social capital –Weakness of weak ties: moral minimalism (privacy) –Reliance on protective security for defence against external threats

39 Social Heterogeneity and the Mobilisation of Authority Diverse communities: –Low bridging social capital amongst community groups –Cannot mobilize informally across the community –Invocation of supra-communal authority (Platonic) Conflictual communities: –Intra-communal conflict amongst community groups –No dominant group hegemony –Groups call for Protective Guardianship –Groups compete for Platonic Guardianship –Pilate not Plato: public guardians do not respond

40 If the police were like Tescos… …how would they respond to their customers? Need Criminalisation? Service? ? Response Demand Supply


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