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The problem of success: what is a 'good' homicide investigation?

Brookman, Fiona and Innes, Martin ORCID: 2013. The problem of success: what is a 'good' homicide investigation? Policing and Society 23 (3) , pp. 292-310. 10.1080/10439463.2013.771538

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Police detectives traditionally defined a successful homicide investigation as involving a suspect being identified, charged and ultimately convicted – preferably for murder. However, it is increasingly being recognised, not least by police officers themselves, that definitions of success can be more complex. Informed by empirical data drawn from field studies of police murder investigations in the UK, this article identifies four alternate definitions of investigative success: (i) outcome success, (ii) procedural success, (iii) community impact reduction success and (iv) preventative success. These ways of socially constructing the ‘success’ or otherwise of homicide investigation work are framed by the different perspectives and pressures that attend to different roles within the police organisation. The article concludes by considering the wider implications of these issues for thinking about police performance and contemporary understandings of ‘good’ policing.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Universities' Police Science Institute (UPSI)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Uncontrolled Keywords: homicide investigation; defining success; police performance; murder
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1043-9463
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 09:31

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