Proactive policing

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Proactive policing is the practice of deterring criminal activity by showing police presence and engaging the public to learn their concerns, thereby preventing crime from taking place in the first place. In contrast, responding to a complaint after a crime has been committed is reactive policing.[1]

Elements of proactive policing[edit]

California Highway Patrol

Proactive policing is closely related to the practice of community policing. Community policing's goal is "problem solving." Community policing emphasizes proactive enforcement that proposes street crime can be reduced through greater community involvement and integration between citizens and police. Community policing departments and officers must commit time to develop a "partnership" with the community to: 1) Prevent and counter crime; 2) Maintain order; and 3) Reduce the fear of crime.[2] Police organization is decentralized with every police officer and detective having a neighborhood to patrol with agreed upon goals and objectives to solve. Police officers must feel integrated with the majority of the citizens of the community where they patrol, and that they perceive themselves as sharing similar values and beliefs so they are confident in their decision making ability. Each police officer must get out of their cars (not just drive by and grin and wave) to visit with citizens and businesses to learn the residents concerns and show they're a friend and protector---in contrast to "strict law enforcement" or "reactive policing" which doesn't view the citizens as customers.[1][3][4]

Proactive enforcement is historically based on the Peelian Principles that Sir Robert Peel used to establish the world's first modern police department in London in 1829. "The basic mission of the police is to prevent crime and disorder. Our duties are dependent on public approval. This diminishes with our use of physical force and increases with our impartial service to the law."[5][1][6][7]

Related theories and criticisms[edit]

Broken Windows Theory: Environments with urban blight such as broken windows, abandon cars and homes, graffiti, litter and unenforced nuisance crimes (e.g., drunks, panhandling, public urination, blaring music) give message that criminals are in control not the law abiding because the citizens are either afraid or indifferent. Crime can best be alleviated by proactive policing and foot patrols.[8][9]

Black's Law Theory: Our use of the law is governed by three qualifications:

  1. The degree of intimacy we have with the defendant, i.e., we will invoke the law more often (and prosecution is more likely) if we view the defendant as an outsider versus a family member, neighbor, or friend;
  2. Cultural distance, i.e., our use of the law will increase if the defendant is of a different race or religion; and
  3. Conventionality, i.e., if we participate in the culture of the majority we are more likely to view the state as an advocate, e.g., whites versus blacks or the middle versus the lower class.[10][11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Robert C. Ankony and Thomas M. Kelly, "The Impact of Perceived Alienation on a Police Officers' Sense of Mastery and Subsequent Motivation for Proactive Enforcement," Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, vol. 22, no. 2 (1999): 120-32.
  2. ^ Robert C. Ankony, "Community Alienation and Its Impact on Police," The Police Chief, Oct. 1999, 150-53.
  3. ^ Robert C. Ankony, "Sociological and Criminological Theory: Brief of Theorists, Theories, and Terms," CFM Research, Jul. 2012, p.37.
  4. ^ Robert Trojanowicz, Community Policing: How to Get Started, (1998).
  5. ^ Ramsay, Sir Robert Peel, (1829) 88–89.
  6. ^ Robert C. Ankony, "Sociological and Criminological Theory: Brief of Theorists, Theories, and Terms," CFM Research, Jul. 2012, p.37.
  7. ^ Robert Trojanowicz, Community Policing: How to Get Started, (1998).
  8. ^ James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling, "Broken Windows," The Atlantic Monthly, Mar. 1982.
  9. ^ Robert C. Ankony, "Sociological and Criminological Theory: Brief of Theorists, Theories, and Terms," CFM Research, Jul. 2012, p.33.
  10. ^ Donald Black, The Behavior of Law, (1976).
  11. ^ Robert C. Ankony, "Sociological and Criminological Theory: Brief of Theorists, Theories, and Terms," CFM Research, Jul. 2012, p.36.