IALG assignment 2017 – 2018:
With a highly uncertain and rapidly changing crime environment, one of the most important challenges is creating police organisations that are able to weather the current and future storms. Especially fragmentation in societies is more and more often resulting in conflicting situations and a wide range of public expectations. This has a growing impact on policing and on the police itself. Policing has always been caught in processes of social inclusion and exclusion. But nowadays, perceptions of police fairness, social identity and legitimacy are continuously at stake. The way policing is socially constructed and understood retains a strong symbolic potential, particularly as this concerns social identity, collective belonging and, potentially, exclusion. As several police commissioners at the Pearls in Policing conference in 2017 noted, one of the most common manifestations of this problem has been the reversion to ‘hard policing’ in many Western European nations in response to terrorism events in the past decade. This is usually a short-term response – a more visible and more forceful security presence helps alleviate public fears. However, there is also a problematic cycle which has emerged in some areas, where hard responses lead to more disillusionment and disconnection with at-risk communities, which in turn leads to more extremism and thus even harder responses. In either case, hard policing becomes a narrow and short-term reaction which can sideline broad and long-term prevention strategies. In this light, the police is experiencing more and more difficulties to guarantee inclusive strategies and appropriate operational activities. At its worst, this keeps policing in a largely reactive stance, constantly focused on what was in the newspapers yesterday rather than what the problems will be tomorrow. As all regions experience challenges, tensions and shocks related to diverse cultures, socio-economic problems, political fragmentations and evolving forms of criminality, identify and analyze the range of problems faced by the police in each of the individual geographic regions represented within the membership of your IALG, as well as other regions of the world not represented within your IALG. Be specific with the problems confronted in each region.
Assignment giver: Mr. Benjamin Tucker, First Deputy Commissioner NYPD.