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Authority of the Police (Het Gezag van de Politie)

NCJ Number
Judicial Explorations (Justitiele verkenningen) Volume: 27 Issue: 1 Dated: 2001 Pages: 72-83
C. D. van der Vijver; L. G. H. Gunther Moor
Date Published
12 pages
This article describes a community oriented policing approach in the Netherlands to assist in improving the authority and acceptance of the police.
Today, in the Netherlands, individualism is viewed by many citizens as not having to be told how to behave. They claim the freedom to decide for themselves. However, this is done without taking other individuals’ rights into consideration. With this developed perspective, the result is the augmentation of violence and other deviant behavior and a society in decay. There has been an increasing plea for harsher measures and penalties to persuade citizens and teach them lessons in decency. This has resulted in zero tolerance policing. This article describes the community oriented policing approach used in several cities in the Netherlands to improve their authority and the acceptance of their activities. In several troubled neighborhoods, the implementation of community oriented policing resulted in a police constable becoming responsible for organizing safety in a specified area. As a result, the police were judged more positively afterwards. Important elements included: knowing the constable by name; where to reach him or her; and knowing his or her capacity to solve problems.