The case for a narrower focus to policing

Andrew Millie

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In October 2014, the Second International Conference on Law Enforcement and Public Health took place at the Free University, Amsterdam. A particular highlight was a plenary debate between Professor Andrew Millie of the UK’s Edge Hill University, and the AIPM’s Dr Victoria Herrington on how wide should the police’s remit be. The genesis of this debate was a chapter published by Professor Millie in Jennifer Brown’s influential book on the Future of Policing (published in 2014), which itself informed Lord Stevens’ independent review on the future of policing in England and Wales (2013). This chapter developed ideas that Millie had put forward in a special edition of the scholarly journal Criminology and Criminal Justice in 2013 and set out the potential opportunities for policing to recast its role in society as a result of contraction enforced through austerity, and with it to reconsider the sense in police being involved in a range of non-crime issues. There is of course a counter argument to be made, particularly within the context of public health, which was the focus of the conference for which this debate was prepared. Dr Herrington assumes this counter position here and as such this Research Focus sets out both arguments and invites you to draw your own conclusions. In line with the AIPM tradition of advancing provocative ideas, we hope you will see this document as the starting point for further discussion, rather than an end point in and of itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
JournalResearch Focus
Issue number4
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Oct 2014


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