The enforcement turn in plural policing? A comparative analysis of public police auxiliaries in England & Wales, France and The Netherlands

Megan O'Neill (Lead / Corresponding author), Jacques de Maillard, Ronald van Steden

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    Abstract

    This paper examines ‘auxiliary’ police in three European countries and the extent to which they continue to present a pluralisation of public sector policing. Examining findings from existing empirical research, we will argue that despite different origins, systems of governance, formal powers and levels of centralisation, the police auxiliaries in England & Wales, France and The Netherlands have all experienced an overall trend towards becoming more ‘enforcement-orientated’. This unique comparative analysis measures each agency's powers, appearance, organisational dimensions and mandate and the associated drivers towards change, such as the politicisation of law and order, large-scale institutional transformations and professionalisation attempts. This analysis will have implications for pluralised policing scholarship as it questions the extent to which auxiliary officers provide a true alternative to the standard or national public policing mandate, which has historically highlighted the ‘law and order’ function of the police. It also highlights the lack of research on what ‘policing by government’ (Loader, 2000) looks like in practice and the need for further comparative research with these auxiliary state policing actors.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-20
    Number of pages20
    JournalEuropean Journal of Criminology
    Early online date24 Jan 2022
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jan 2022

    Keywords

    • Pluralisation
    • auxiliary police officers
    • community policing
    • law enforcement
    • policing

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