From community to neighbourhood policing: Police Community Support Officers and the police extended family in London

L. Johnston

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Abstract

Community policing lacks a coherent definition. Despite this, the term has been used as a rhetorical device to support nostalgic and state-centric models of policing. These models are increasingly challenged by diversity. Government has responded to this challenge by advocating an extended family model of policing. This paper explores the role of Police Community Support Officers in the extended family model. It draws upon research carried out on PCSOs in London between October 2002 and December 2003. The paper consists of four sections. The first considers the extent of PCSO integration within the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). The second looks at the impact of PCSO recruitment on the goal of diversifying the MPS workforce. Section Three considers public attitudes towards PCSOs in London. The final section considers PCSOs in a national context, focusing on two issues: the relationship between PCSO policy implementation and the evidence-base used to justify it; and the future role of PCSOs in neighbourhood policing, the latest incarnation of community policing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-254
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Community & Applied Social Psychology
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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