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Out on Patrol: Maintaining the Strengths and Addressing the Weaknesses of Scotland's Community Warden Scheme

NCJ Number
Crime Prevention and Community Safety Volume: 14 Issue: 4 Dated: November 2012 Pages: 258-277
Donna Marie Brown
Date Published
November 2012
20 pages
This article examines Scotland's Community Warden Scheme, which provides the focus of this article.
In recent years 'community safety' has received renewed levels of interest and investment from national governments and local authorities. This has culminated in the proliferation of a diverse range of in/formal policing strategies incorporating crime reduction and/or crime prevention. The policies and programs developed to deliver 'community safety' reflect local concerns as much as national commitment. One such program is Scotland's Community Warden Scheme, which provides the focus of this article. Community Wardens are characterized as a 'uniformed, semi-official presence' within an extended policing team, focusing on the improvement of community safety measures. Drawing on innovative empirical data generated in Dundee, this article critically evaluates the positive and negative attributes of the Community Warden Scheme from the perspective of the Wardens. It highlights the key themes of developing relationships with the local community; establishing and addressing local policing priorities; multi-stakeholder working; and, the tensions between Community Warden management and practice, to make suggestions about how the strengths of the program can be maintained and the weaknesses addressed. The article aims to make an important contribution to debates about current approaches to 'community safety' while engaging with the policy and practitioner aspects of its delivery. (Published Abstract)