International Edition Volume 1 (2011)

Police Crime Statistics

In an Area of Tension Between Administrative Action and Evidence-Based Policy Making

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Steve Schwarzer

Police crime statistics provide the Federal Ministry of the Interior with a source of data that, while enabling us to analyze the effectiveness of security policy activities, is sometimes the object of vigorous political discourse. This is not a big surprise; when empirics or measured facts meet policies, immediate conclusions are drawn on the efficiency and effectiveness of public action performed by the state because the data create the impression that they allow the monitoring of state action. Especially in compiling and utilizing statistics generated by the authorities, fundamental progressive considerations are required as to what information is eventually needed (or can or should be used) for public policy planning and making, and what inputs and methods are required to collect such data. Meaningful content-related, practical analysis and discussion are only possible if the data required for this purpose can be collected on an ongoing basis and in a good quality, and in addition to the presentation of facts, the main causes and effects of the phenomena to be monitored are also examined. This requirement becomes tangible within the concept of evidence-based policymaking. The objective of evidence-based policymaking thus consists of the presentation of functional chains in order to ensure that causal effects are taken into account. This paper attempts to illustrate the concept of evidence-based policymaking through the example of police-generated crime statistics. It illustrates and raises basic issues of integrating empirical data into political governance, coming to the final conclusion that police-generated crime statistics may also be an excellent instrument of evidence-based policymaking. No rational, consequence-oriented crime and criminal law policy is possible without a sound empirical basis.

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Setting International Standards: Major Events and the European Code of Police Ethics

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Jonathan Hadley

This article looks at the significance of security planning for "major events" in relation to policing and the European Code of Police Ethics. The kind of events being spoken of when talking of "major event security" are those such as large sporting tournaments, high profile political summits, international cultural festivals etc., each of which have a venue and an organiser with whom the police and authorities cooperate over security planning. Some are regular and routine in nature others are exceptional and present new security challenges. But all have to be planned for in terms of the various security risks and threats they might pose. They should not be confused with ‘major incidents’, such as natural or man-made disasters, large scale criminal acts, terrorist attacks, mass murders, etc., although any of these could occur in relation to a major event as a security threat and would need to be planned for (and for this reason a major event can itself be logged as a ‘major incident’ in the command and control parlance of some police forces). First and foremost, though, this article seeks to stress the potential of major events to set new standards of security and in doing so, necessitates the maintenance of ethical standards for policing in Europe.

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Migration and Security – an Unusual Perspective?

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Linda Jakubowicz

"Security policy is kept in the hands of those who define what a threat is." Addressing the comprehensive field of migration research, this paper attempts to trace the relationship between, and offer an in-depth analysis of, migration and (internal) security both in perception by society as well as in the political and scientific discourse. In dealing with this issue, one is easily tempted to overdo and lose track of the conceptual framework. Being a typical cross-sectoral matter and a part of migration research and other relevant fields, this issue is overly complex and intertwined. As an example, one could quote here the strong focus on security studies and their development; the research on identity and nation states in the post-Westphalian world, notably in light of the European integration process; questions related to the statistical coverage of delinquent behavior; and last but not least the thematic interdependencies resulting from an extended perception of security. While presenting the state of the art of research and examining the changing concept of security, this paper focuses on an analysis of purported and real security risks that (may) directly or indirectly result from immigration, and on demonstrating the link to various theories, such as the theory of the securitization of migration.

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Does “Forensic Science” Exist?

Scientific Background of Criminal Investigations

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Hans Ditrich

Forensic work normally covers individual crimes, unlike criminology, which investigates the general aspects of criminal behaviour. The concept of "forensic science" does not concur with the criteria of scientific research. Clearly, forensic methods are required to be well established, standardised and undisputed as much as possible. Innovation and creativity have to be severely restricted for the sake of fairness. Nonetheless, the scientific principles of objectivity, reliability and validity also apply to forensic investigations. The crucial aspects are the highest possible quality of both the investigation itself and the qualification of the expert. Genuine scientific research has inherent quality assessment mechanisms such as the "peer review" process. Additionally, mistakes are usually corrected later, by more detailed research. Correction mechanisms such as an appeals procedure or second expertise exist in forensic matters too, but the immediate impact of the results on the persons involved places the highest demands for qualification and quality. In gaining knowledge in forensic investigations, specific questions are normally followed by the generation of theories. These theories may then potentially be absorbed into the corpus of formal knowledge. Important innovations or improvements of existing techniques are often primarily based on a practical criminalist’s experience and not on academic research. The latter, however, is responsible for implementing scientific rules into forensic work. This calls for a close collaboration between academic research and practical application – i.e., an enhancement of scientific input.

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Minimum body height requirements for police officers – an international comparison

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Sylvia Kirchengast

The use of defined minimum body height standards for police officers was analyzed for all countries of the European Union and some European non-EU countries. More than 50 % of the countries of the European Union defined minimum height requirements for police officers. However, the variation of such requirements within Europe is quite high. Cut-offs range from 152 cm in Belgium to 170 cm in Greece, Malta and Romania. The majority of countries defined gender-specific cut-off values, few countries such as Germany showed no uniform practice because each federal state defined its own height standards. In all countries the defined cut-off values are not the result of scientific evaluation.

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Doing More with Less

Solutions to Budget Cuts to Municipal Police Departments Based on the Meta-Leadership Concept

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Maria Haberfeld

This article explores the effects of recession on police departments around the country from the perspective of recruitment, training, supervision and deployment. Strategies for circumventing the cuts and relying on creativity and meta-leadership techniques are introduced and analyzed from the perspective of some possible contributions from the academic body of knowledge to the struggling departments, especially in the areas of budget cuts for police training. The need for creative and forward thinking leadership in police organizations becomes more acute than during the past decades of prosperity and overall decline in crime rates. Historically, when the economy takes a plunge, the crime rates go up. We do not need just more officers on the streets – we need them to be prepared for the unforeseen domino effects of high unemployment rates and the quasi anomie state that might follow.

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Urban Structures and Crime

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Dieter Hermann, Christian Laue

Understanding the broken windows approach as an ecological theory focussing on the interrelationships of urban structures and crime, it can be summarized by the following hypotheses: (a) Worsening urban structural conditions lead to higher crime rates, higher fear of crime and to worse perception of quality of life. (b) An increase of delinquency rates, fear of crime and perceived negative quality of life in a district leads to migration and a change in the structural conditions. In this study cross-sectional data, representative surveys, and also longitudinal data about structural changes in German cities were used. The results largely confirm the broken windows approach; however, a modification should be taken into consideration. A supplementing of this approach can be reached by a combination with lifestyle approaches. Following this, crime rates in a district not only depend on structural variables, but also on the lifestyle of the inhabitants.

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Potential Risks of Politically Motivated Violence

A Comparative Analysis "Old" and "New" Terrorism

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Armin Pfahl -Traughber

Since the attacks of 11 September 2001, there has been an upsurge of public interest in terrorism. In this context, observers have noted a formal change, with a distinction between "old" and "new" terrorism becoming more and more widely used. However, the question arises as to how these two forms are similar and how they differ. The present paper attempts to provide a differentiated analysis of this question, using the so-called „IOS model“ to identify ideologies, organisations and strategies of "old" and "new" terrorism. These comparative observations serve primarily to define the main characteristics of contemporary terrorism, i.e. religious motives, decentralised organisation, and transnational orientation. The combination of these features results in an especially high level of risk, as, for ideological reasons, a high number of victims does not pose a problem of legitimacy; decentralised and independent structures allow for an autonomous organisation of attacks while transnational dimensions signify a global threat.

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