Thinking Policeman UK – Failure of Community Policing

Here’s a great post from a great blog, Thinking Policeman about how Community Policing has been mostly a failure.

In the UK Community Policing is mostly a volunteer core, so its efforts – though well intentioned – are often perceived as ineffectual. Best line:

“Even then PCSO’s had their critics and they were seen by some as policing on the cheap. They were ridiculed for their lack of powers and it was suggested that the public were being conned when they saw uniforms patrolling the streets with limited training and effect.”

And here are my comments:

“Community Policing… Ughhh! In America it’s a totally Con (and I am Canadian so I suspect there too, though I haven’t been back in a while).

Never forget this experience: I was invited to a squad ride along in Raleigh, NC. The ride-along was scheduled! I showed up at the sub-station only to find the place shut tight as a drum (lights off). Rang the bell… pounded on the door… nothing. I’m curious so I wonder around back of the building… only to find 4 squad cars and 1/2 dozen officers smoking cigs next to a dumpster.

There are signs all over Raleigh directing citizens to this sub-station: imagine if it was a real emergency.”

Community Policing… Ughhh! In America it’s a totally con (and I am Canadian so I suspect there too, though I haven;t been back in a while).
Never forget this experience: I was invited to a squad ride along in Raleigh, NC. The ride-along was scheduled! I showed up at the sub-station only to find the place shut tight as a drum (lights off). Rang the bell… pounded on the door… nothing. I’m curious so I wonder around back of the building… only to find 4 squad cars and 1/2 dozen officers smoking cigs next to a dumpster.
There are signs all over Raleigh directing citizens to this sub-station: imagine if it was a real emergency.
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One thought on “Thinking Policeman UK – Failure of Community Policing”

  1. I’m sure I would not forget an experience like that either, John.

    In every place I’ve worked, employees were allowed to take breaks (lunch, cigs, etc.) but NEVER were all employees allowed to go on break at the same time. I remember many times waiting for someone to come back from lunch so I could go.

    So this time you have an appointment, at a facility that’s supposed to be ready for emergencies, and everyone is outside catching a smoke, and they don’t even have the lights on? This is ridiculous! One would think at least one person would be inside in case someone came in, with the door unlocked so they could, even if they weren’t expecting someone at a certain time!

    And if that appointment was for a ride-along, one would think they would want to make a good impression. Guess they blew that chance, huh?

    I’m not sure everyone else would think to check around back, or just wonder why they were closed. No one heard the bell either? Couldn’t they smoke in front of the building? Even at a store or office, most employers would be upset at this.

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