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A mixed-method exploration of neighbourhood policing reform in austerity era England and Wales

Greig-Midlane, Jack 2019. A mixed-method exploration of neighbourhood policing reform in austerity era England and Wales. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis explores how socio-economic environments influence Neighbourhood Policing reform processes in the austerity era. After the fiscal crisis and the following austerity measures in England and Wales, police institutions are faced with unprecedented cuts to their central funding (Brain 2011) and other shifts in the policing field (Loader 2014; Holdaway 2017; College of Policing 2015). Significant external shocks can trigger ambitious policy agendas and the socio-economic conditions for policing reforms (Reiner 2013; Loader 2014). This can place pressure on police institutions to swing from one set of policing functions to another, especially for policing models that are resource–intensive and emphasise less coercive functions (Innes 2005; Punch 2012). Reforming police institutions, however, is difficult due to the cultural resistance from the street-level operatives and the complexities involved in translating policy ideas and decisions into actions (Crank 2003; Skogan 2008). This thesis contends that these complex and dynamic reform processes are played out across the different levels of an institution. To demonstrate this, the study focuses on cultural narratives transmitted through storytelling, as well as group interactions and negotiations involved in police work. This analysis draws upon the interactionist perspective and the work of Strauss (1978), Goffman (1983), and Fine (2012), to explore how group dynamics and culture can mediate reform and shape interactions. Employing a mixed-methods research design, this study explores both the general trends in the neighbourhood policing team workforce and the reform processes and policing delivery in West Midlands Police. The first phase analyses secondary data from the Home Office and describes the extent and distribution of changes to the neighbourhood policing workforce in England and Wales. In the second phase, observations of police-community meetings and interviews with members of Neighbourhood Policing Teams, explore police cultural narratives and interactions and their implications for Neighbourhood Policing reform.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Funders: DAWES Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 September 2019
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2020 02:13

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