Comparing performance: the development of police performance management in France and Britain

J. De Maillard, Steve Savage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Performance management in some form is now a global feature of policing in both developed and developing countries. Under the steer of ‘new public management’, cultures of performance and the instruments of performance management are increasingly a part of the landscape of twenty-first century policing. However, there has been little by way of comparative analysis of the different regimes of police performance management, despite the wider expansion of scholarship on comparative policing. This article seeks to address this gap by comparing police performance management in Britain and France. It examines the relationship between the rise of police performance management and the wider politicisation of ‘law and order’ in both contexts. It then discusses police performance management in the two states in terms of comparisons of performance regimes around the themes of ‘centralisation’ and ‘localism’, the dimensions of policing which form measurements of police performance, the role of ‘transparency’ and exposure of data in performance management and the role of ‘consumerism’ the police performance regimes. It also considers the extent to which senior police representative bodies have shaped or resisted the performance agenda. In conclusion, the article locates variance in police performance management between the two states within the fundamental differences in governance, structure and ethos between the two policing systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-383
Number of pages21
JournalPolicing and Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


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