Calling upon and assisting police officers are acts that link informal and formal mechanisms of social control. In this paper, we draw upon data from a survey of seven London electoral wards to investigate some of the factors predicting public willingness to assist police. We find that such cooperation is associated, first, with high levels of public trust in police; second, with confidence that local residents will intervene on behalf of the collective good; and third, with heightened concerns about disorder and the loss of authority and discipline in society. We conclude with the idea that cooperation may be influenced not only by peoples’ relationships with police, but also by their (real and imagined) relationships with each other. Notably, police may garner public cooperation when social cohesion is perceived to be high and when there seem to be challenges to the established moral order.
This article contributes to the research on trust in policing by examining how private security actors (bouncers) experience the police as a partner in informal policing networks emerging as part of the ‘war on bikers and gangs’ in Danish nightlife. While much international research about partnership policing has employed a police perspective and a top-down approach, thus emphasizing organizational ties between policing bodies, this article uses a bottom-up, interactional approach, with a focus on bouncers’ everyday experiences and understandings of partnerships with the police. Our findings show that the formation of informal police-bouncer networks has significantly increased the degree of police influence in private nightlife environments such as bars and nightclubs. Our findings also indicate that inter-agency trust building is crucial to the collaborative willingness and capability of bouncers. However, collaborative relationships are challenged when the police use coercive tactics in their dealings with bouncers and, also, when there is uncertainty about the partition of roles and responsibilities between bouncers and police.
To what extent can we trust police research? In this paper, I use Brown’s (1996) typology of police ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’ to delineate some of the methodological challenges to conducting research on the police. I argue that there has been a convergence between insider and outsider research in the context of key developments to police research and policing more generally. On the one hand, ‘outside’ police scholars are being incentivised to work more collaboratively with police organisations as part of knowledge-exchange funding schemes. On the other, the police have become increasingly driven by an evidence-based approach that encourages greater analytical capabilities of those on the ‘inside’. This blurring of outsiders and insiders brings a series of advantages to police research, including better access to the field, opportunities for knowledge exchange, wider dissemination of results and greater policy impact. But simultaneously, researchers now face a number of challenges, including a narrowing focus on policy-oriented research questions, as well as a possible erosion of research independence. I argue that in order to trust police research in this collaborative phase, researchers must be able to adopt a reflexive approach and ask wider questions than ‘what works’. The discussion is not limited to Nordic countries; nor is it specific to police research. However, the themes presented here are of critical importance in establishing trust in Nordic police research.
European Union (EU) police and justice cooperation is based on EU legal frameworks. Some of these frameworks have an important impact on EU policing practice both generally and on cooperation regimes with the United Kingdom (UK) in particular. The UK involvement in EU police and justice cooperation could therefore potentially be endangered by the ‘Brexit’ – the UK referendum decision to leave the European Union. This decision was announced on 24 June 2016. Even prior to the Brexit, the UK already chose not to accept the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the enforcement powers of the Commission in relation to pre-Lisbon security measures under Article 10(4) of this Protocol. As an EU member, but not party to the EU Freedom, Security and Justice (FSJ) instruments, the UK had very limited options in participating in EU security measures, such as Europol, Eurojust or Joint Investigation Teams (JITs). A number of measures, including the three mentioned above, were therefore selected to be re-joined as they were considered crucial to UK security. With a Brexit and non-membership in the EU, but as signatory of EU FSJ instruments, the UK would be able to acquire ‘third party’ status to some of those measures. This is only the case, however, if the UK, similarly to Norway, is willing to (re-)adopt relevant instruments after exiting the EU. The UK is a medium-trust society. If the police were to be excluded from, for example, EU police agencies’ information exchange, this trust could be further eroded. This article compares the participation of the UK in criminal justice cooperation in the EU before and after Brexit in comparison with Norway’s participation in EU law enforcement. As Norway has long standing practice as a close third party and associate state of the EU, its experiences could be applied by the UK if the Brexit is put into practice. Furthermore, the article explores what the impact of the Brexit could be on the security situation in the UK, focusing in particular on JITs, the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), Europol and the Schengen Information System (SIS).
Immigration detention centres are often highly controversial institutions. They are frequently criticized for being too high-security and too prison-like, and they are therefore seen as unfit to hold a population of people who have done nothing wrong apart from searching out a new life for themselves and their families in a new country. According to critics, they are prisons for people that do not belong in prisons. This paper will discuss aspects of the ongoing negotiations over legitimacy that have taken place within and surrounding the Norwegian Police Immigration Service Detention Centre. Based on a reading of publicly available texts about the detention centre (newspaper articles, op-ed pieces, monitoring board reports, court decisions, etc.) as well as four months of fieldwork in the centre in 2013, I will show how the institution has responded actively to criticism in order to strengthen the legitimacy of Norwegian immigration detention.