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The representation of organised crime in local police assessments.

Avery, Simon 2019. The representation of organised crime in local police assessments. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Police forces around the UK are now expected to produce assessments of organised crime for their own local areas. These assessments are of significant social scientific interest because they contain hidden assumptions about what “local” organised crime is, what kind of problem it causes and how it should be governed. Yet much of the research on this topic has been overly-concerned with helping police design better assessment models on their own terms. In response, this study sought to work at a deeper-level, uncovering local assessments’ taken-for-granted representations of the organised crime problem. In so doing, the ultimate objective was to contest how “organised crime” was framed by local assessments and to develop a new assessment model. Following the tenets of Layder’s “adaptive theory” approach (1998), the study begins with the proposition that local assessments are not actually very “local” in their representation of organised crime. Case studies of three types of local assessment are used to test, develop and refine this proposition. Content analysis is used to “reverse engineer” each of these types, uncovering their hidden conceptualisations. Contrary to the proposition, it is discovered that many assessments do contain genuine local detail but are nevertheless incoherent in their representation of the organised crime problem. Through cross-case analysis, four fundamental sources of incoherence are identified; 1) a lack of clear problem definitions, 2) a lack of internal cohesion, 3) the infeasibility of assessing administratively-defined local areas and 4) a flawed ontology of organised crime. Based on these criticisms, a new model called the Systemic Crime Problem Assessment (SCPA) is proposed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Funders: DAWES Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 November 2019
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2021 16:48

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