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Police and People - A Comparison of Five Countries

NCJ Number
P G Shane
Date Published
222 pages
This comparative study investigates police-community relations and the public perception of the police in five countries: the United States, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Israel, and India.
The comparative approach is intended to contribute to a wider perspective in understanding and evaluating the everyday aspects of police work in the United States by both students and practitioners of law enforcement and other helping professions. The presentation begins with a brief description of each country, its police history, and the role of police in social control and integration. Although differences of sponsorship and responsibilities among the countries are noted, the similarities highlighted include the professional status of the police, their overall mission, specific tasks, and social functions of control and support. Part two focuses on each country individually, describing the history and development of its police force and analyzing the everyday function of the uniformed police in that country. Aspects of organization, operation, task analysis and special problems are covered. The several specific aspects of police work are dealt with in the comparative analyses. These include specialized units, policewomen, equipment, training, specialized and general functions, and problems. It is concluded that further developments within police forces will probably concern their role in relation to the total supportive systems of their societies. In addition, the study found that the police forces provide many support services for social needs rather than just control and they are insufficiently trained for this variety of helping tasks and services. Three alternatives are possible: the police can either continue to play their present role in support activities, they can become more completely integrated into a reorganized service delivery system, or they can withdraw their activity from the support areas and be replaced in this function by alternative service agencies. Major problems for the United States are related to the complete local autonomy of generalized police forces and the multiplicity of policing agencies on all levels of government. A glossary, maps, tabular data, and chapter references are supplied. Appendixes include sample police logs from India and Israel. An index and a bibliography of 100 entries are provided.