The future of policing

Authored by: Tim Newburn

Handbook of Policing

Print publication date:  August  2008
Online publication date:  August  2012

Print ISBN: 9781843925002
eBook ISBN: 9780203118238
Adobe ISBN: 9781136308529


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What does the future hold? An easy question to ask – an impossible one to answer effectively. Of course, policing has many possible futures. Indeed, this is not a matter about which criminologists are likely to agree. As many of the previous chapters have indicated, making sense of how we find ourselves in our current position – something about which we at least have some evidence to base our ideas on – is itself a source of contention. Thinking about, and attempting to predict the future, is, for obvious reasons, more difficult still. Not only is it inherently problematic, but, in some respects, it appears our ability to predict the future with any accuracy is getting more difficult all the time. We live, as Walker (this volume) notes, in times that are characterised by ‘shrinking horizons of the foreseeable’. Why is this? First and foremost, the pace of social, economic and technological change is increasing. Second, the sources of change are becoming more diverse.

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