Mind the implementation gap? Police reform and local policing in the Netherlands and Scotland

Jan Terpstra, Nicholas Fyfe (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    48 Citations (Scopus)
    1070 Downloads (Pure)


    In 2013 the governments of the Netherlands and Scotland established national police forces, replacing a tradition of largely autonomous regional police organisations. In both jurisdictions, these radical reforms have raised concerns about the consequences of these national police structures for local policing and for relationships with local communities and local government. Drawing on documentary sources and interview material from each jurisdiction and informed by insights from the policy implementation literature, the key question addressed in this article is how has the legislation that created the new national police forces been put into effect at a local level? Focusing on the impact on the governance, organisation and delivery of local policing, the article reveals how the implementation in both jurisdictions involves interpretation and discretion by multiple actors so that gaps are emerging between the national ‘policy promises’ set out in the legislation and the ‘policy products’ experienced in local contexts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)527-544
    Number of pages18
    JournalCriminology and Criminal Justice
    Issue number5
    Early online date19 Feb 2015
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


    • Police
    • Reform
    • Governance
    • Implementation
    • Netherlands
    • Scotland


    Dive into the research topics of 'Mind the implementation gap? Police reform and local policing in the Netherlands and Scotland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this