Comparative policing systems Essay

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Comparative policing systems

Introduction

Policing is not a recent issue in terms which duty of state as protecting both public and state still remains as a concept to focus on, yet, it is current enough to remember and to consider again. In this comparative study, policing systems of United Kingdom, Turkey and France will be controversially discussed in terms of policing related to its legitimacy, its structure, and its function. In the first section, the concepts of legitimacy, structure, and function will be defined. Afterwards, British policing system will be examined in terms of these three conceptions.

Following British system, Turkish policing system which has been remarkably adapted to new policing concepts despite the fact that there are more to deal with will be following subject. Then, lastly, French system which has effectively been a model for some countries will be analyzed so as to understand ‘The Continental Model’. After analyzing three countries, the similarities and differences between British and ‘The Continental System’ will be focused on, more particularly within a proposition that British Policing leads the way.

Policing: Legitimacy, Structure, and Function

Modern police was often seen as an instrument of progress, consistent with the idea of free enterprise, academic freedom, constitutional protection against arbitrary government (Liang, 2002, p: 4). Although there has been a common acceptance of policing recently, as Liang stated, there are different police systems all over the world. In order to be able to analyze and compare police systems, there are three terms by the help of which policing in different societies can be examined; legitimacy, structure, and function. In his early study, Bayley asserts that three characteristics of the police contemporarily exist in today’s world and these as dichotomous are public/private, specialized/no specialized, professional/nonprofessional.

Being public/private oriented refers to the nature of the police agency and can easily be confused with community authorization, specialization for a police agency, in opposite terms of that unspecialized police force is authorized to use force but do many other things as well, concentres on the application of force, and professionalism refers to explicit preparation to perform the unique police function (Bayley, 1990, p: 11-13). Using this triple explanation, Bayley originally emphasizes on legitimacy, structure and function of policing. Similarly, Mawby attempts to compare different police systems according to legitimacy, structure, and function.

Moreover, he defines these terms. “Legitimacy implies that the police are granted some degree of monopoly within society by those with the power to so authorize, be they an elite within the society, an occupying power, or the community as a whole.”(1990, p: 3). Structure means specialization/non specialization, and function implies that the role of the police is concentrated on the maintenance of law and order prevention and detection of offences. Nevertheless, this is not only about these fixed concepts, but also the balance between law and order, or prevention and detection and being service-related, administrative, or concerned with political control (Mawby, 1990).

United Kingdom; Policing System

Police systems in England and Wales prior to the 19th century are portrayed private, non-professional, and unspecialized by authors such as Critchley (1978) and Radzinowicz (1956a). After creation of ‘new police’, ‘The Metropolitan Police Force’ (1829), London’s first centralized, uniformed, wholly professional, centrally-controlled police force (Reynolds, 1998) and similar forces were established in other urban and rural areas between 1835 and 1888, so the nineteenth century was a breakpoint. After a dynamic duration in 20th century, now there are currently 43 police forces in England and Wales employing over 233,000 personnel, over 140,000 police officers, nearly 78,000 police staff and over 15,600 Police Community Support Officers. Additionally, there are currently in excess of 14,500 volunteer police officers known as Special Constables in England and Wales (Home Office, 2009).

The 51 police forces those were over 100 prior to the Police Act of 1964 in England, Wales, and Scotland each headed by a Chief Constable who is accountable to a Police Authority (Tupman and Tupman, 1999). In Scotland, there are 8 constabularies corresponding to the 8 former regional governments of Scotland. Initially, in terms of function, the police’s role is crime control and maintenance public order, more specifically crime prevention through uniformed patrol while, at the same time, fulfilling a welfare and service order public (Mawby, 2008). Secondly, in terms of structure, there is a balance between local and central control and organization.

The modern police system in England and Wales is traced back to the early nineteenth century, this idea is reinforced by Bayley in such a way that he states that “The modern English police constable is medieval Tythingman1, still acting under royal authority but now serving at public expense in a chosen career” (1990, p: 29). The 1962 Royal Commission on the Police identified the protection of local police forces’ autonomy through the institution of the three partite structure of accountability: individual chief constables, police authorities and central government claims Mawby in his study dedicated to compare policing systems all over the world (2008).

From a more general perspective, in UK structure is decentralized compared to continental system, and there are local police forces with the help of these information, but Northern Ireland has a different system based on colonial system (Mawby, 1992). It is possible, in terms of structure, to say that police is decentralized, unarmed, and civilian force (Mawby, 1990). Afterwards, in terms of legitimacy there is a tendency to do what public want.

It is possible to see on the green paper that the police are in attempts to improve the connection between public and the police: This Green Paper sets out proposals for a new policing pledge which will be developed in partnership between the police and local people (Green Paper, July 2008). In his recent study, Mawby states that there at least four attempts to allay public concern by providing public access to local police management: Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs), the formation of police consultative committees, the establishment of lay visitors schemes, and the introduction of Independent Advisory Groups to monitor police racism following the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (Mawby, 2008, p: 21).

Turkey; Policing System

The history of the police in Turkey derives from Ottoman Empire in 19th century like public administration through adapting to French prefecture model (Mercedes and Newburn, 2008, p: 34). Moreover, Turkish civilian administration system is influenced by the French civilian administration system and its domestic security approach (Celador, Gemma Collantes et al 2008). Security function is provided by both public and private sector, and there are three public law enforcement institutions: the police, the jandarma (gendarmerie) and the coast guard command. The jandarma and the coast guard command are responsible to the Minister of Interior as well as the police; yet, the jandarma and the coast guard command are military institutions.

In terms of promotions, appointments, personnel administration, disciplinary and judiciary procedures, the jandarma corps is located within the military structure headed by the Office of the Chief of General Staff, who, in turn, responds to the Office of the Prime Minister, instead of to the Ministry of National Defence. Additionally, the national police force and the jandarma are different in terms of their respective jurisdictions and responsibilities vis-�-vis the civilian government authorities (Celador, Gemma Collantes et al 2008, p: 8). Jurisdiction of the police geographically differs from the jandarma’s jurisdiction; the police provide security in urban areas rather whereas the jandarma are responsible for rural areas.

In terms of structure, the police force is centralized, thus, compared to western central administration models, this structure is excessively central (Cerrah, 2005).In terms of function, there is obviously a higher number of the jandarma compared to the police, although urban areas contain more population than rural areas. There are some 193,000 police whereas the jandarma are between 280,000 and 300,000 (Mercedes and Newburn, 2008). According to Mercedes and Newburn’s study which is one of the last studies about Turkey and policing system, number of the jandarma is highly more than the police’s. There are several reasons but, eventually, as a result of disproportional allocation, the priority is not welfare but the continuity of order in terms of administrative and political tasks in addition to crime prevention.

Last of all, in terms of legitimacy, police legitimacy derives from law rather than public. After legislation through the EU twinning projects, for example with amendments and modifications on Law on Powers and Tasks of Police (1936), the government has aimed at changing consideration of police as a ‘service’ rather than ‘power’.

Nevertheless, in practice, this is not easily possible. “Despite all the time that has passed since then, the Turkish police organisation has been unable to establish systemic institutional civilian participation and a satisfactory control mechanism. On both national and regional level, security policies and practices are only run and supervised by appointed civilian administration authorities and police administrators.” claims Cerrah (2005) and as he adds the police still have to do more to be more accountable. Unless the police are more accountable and open to be controlled by civilian mechanism, legitimacy of the police will be discussed as well as its function. However, community policing is a new issue in Turkey with a pilot practicing in ten big cities including Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, and Bursa (Directorate General of Security, 2009). There is a tendency to be more people-oriented.

France; Policing System

French police system is arguably the first modern system in Europe whereas The London Metropolitan Police is known to be the first modern police (Mawby 1990, p: 34, Bowden, 1978, p: 140). Bowden also adds that 615 is the year first peace and police existed in France, but, ironically, French is the nation who has frequently experienced the discontinuity in a nation’s political life despite the fact that they developed the most sophisticated police in Europe (1978). The police function in France is rooted to Roman law tradition, and since the French Revolution (1789), historically, there are significant processes but it is not going to be discussed because of lack of space. Today, police system in French can be analyzed through being distinguished as the police nationale and gendarmerie nationale.

The gendarmerie are accountable to three different authorities: to Minister of Justice for criminal investigations, to the Ministry of Interior for public order, or administrative matters, and to the Ministry of Defence for all other aspects of their work whereas the police nationale are responsible to the Minister of Justice for criminal investigations, and to the Ministry of Interior for public order, or administrative matters (Hodgson, 2005). According to Hodgson’s account, which compares French criminal justice system to British systems and includes an extensive investigation, the police nationale is composed of some 120,000 officers – now according to Interpol 126,000 – whereas the Gendarmerie comprises some 85,000 officers – now according to Interpol 90,000 (2009) – (2005). Moreover, there are some 3000 small municipal police forces.

In terms of structure French police system is centralized as it is seen from this portray, the police forces are armed and – not exactly- militaristic. France is typically an example of continental European system and in terms of function police system in France is putting emphasises on administrative and political tasks rather than welfare (Mawby, 2008, p: 22). As a consequence of being centrally organized, France has more centralized policing system with two main forces the police nationale and the gendarmerie compared to British policing system and less centralized compared to Turkish police system. Compared with UK, the availability of other community initiatives involving polis-public cooperation such as neighbourhood watch or volunteer police auxiliaries are relatively unknown (Mawby, 1990). As a continental European country, in terms of legitimacy the police and the gendarmerie are closely tied to government rather than public or law.

United Kingdom (Excluding Northern Ireland)

Turkey

France

Legitimacy

Local government

Central government

Central government

Function

Welfare

Crime prevention, emphasis on administrative tasks

Crime prevention, emphasis on administrative tasks

Structure

Decentralized

Centralized (More excessively)

Centralized

It is possible to infer from whole information that United Kingdom, excluding Northern Ireland, has community-oriented policing system where as France and Turkey have continental and highly centralized and government oriented policing systems. Mawby who has a range of comparative police studies since early 1990s sees continental police systems in the past as being distinguished in terms of their lack of accountability, being directly responsible to the head of state, and he adds in another study that “While this less easily reconciled with the liberal democracies of post-war Europe, it is still the case that public accountability is more restricted in countries where the police are more centralized and militaristic” (2008, p: 23).

Also in Turkey, “more recently, with the increased quality of the police training and education, the rising numbers of commissioners and officers receiving masters and doctorates (some on topics including human rights law, technologically more advanced crime-fighting methods, etc.) and the positive impact of EU twinning projects, a younger reformist wing seems to have emerged within the police. This wing is also psychologically supported by civil societal demands for the establishment of more professional, accountable and transparent police structures.” (Celador, Gemma Collantes et al, 2008, p: 9)

From a historical perspective; between 1804 and 1810 in France, during Napoleon’s dictatorship Fouch� was his strong right arm and was commanding French police. Fouch�, Duc d’Otranto, had an army consisting of spies and agent provocateurs spreading insidious terror and repression throughout France (Manwaring-White, 1993). As Manwaring-White states, there was a very real fear in Britain that any sort police force like in France would result the same fearful invasion of privacy and liberty. On the other, while Robert peel was introducing his Metropolis Police Improvement Bill, he had figures to show a population increase of 19 per cent in London and Middlesex, but an increase in crime of 55 per cent between the periods of seven years from 1811 to 1818 and from 1821-1828 (Emsley, 1991).

The bill passed through the parliament and The Metropolitan Police of London was established contrast to French militaristic system. However, contentiously, despite the horror of the Fouch� regime in France, the British government did employ spies and agents to try and uncover hints of treasonable activity or political unrest and despite anathema to French style spies, a detective department was reorganised in Scotland in 1842 (Manwaring-White, 1993). There several attempts contrast to thought because of which the Met was established. Furthermore, during the 70s the developments in police riot brought the English police closer in their riot tactics and equipments, yet, unlike continental neighbours, employers were not specialized riot squads (Emsley, 1991).

Finally, the men, responsible for creation the English police during the 19th century, wanted to restrict the political and military nature of the new police, but Emsley states that despite these reasons of creation of English police, the economic, political and social nature of Victorian England was instrumental in helping some people to achieve their aim (1991). By contrast with whom see centralized system as incorporating problems of non-accountability and partisanship, Mawby critically examines this idea. Firstly, one should not assume that locally, community-oriented systems are necessarily panaceas; they may incorporate problems of non-accountability, elite control and partisanship.

Secondly, however, although political policing has been more a future of policing systems in countries where the police are militaristic, there is no clear relationship between the presence of one, central police system and these features. Nor is a central system necessarily incompatible with local accountability. Last of all, as illustrated in his study, the presence of absence of a single, centralized police is no more evidence of a ‘police state’ than is the presence or absence of the jury system (Mawby, 1992, p: 125-126). Today, in terms of function, structure, and legitimacy, community-oriented systems are seen more advantageous, but privacy and liberty of individuals are threatened by the surveillance, bugging and file-keeping methods of modern police (Manwaring-White, 1993).

Bibliography

Books

Bayley, David H. (1990) Patterns of Policing: A Comparative International Analysis, Rutgers University Press.

Bowden, T. (1978), Beyond the Limits of Law, Harmondsworth: Penguin

Cerrah, Ibrahim, “Police”, in Cizre, Umit (ed.), Almanac Turkey 2005: Security Sector and

Democratic Oversight, Istanbul: TESEV Publications, 2006, pp. 86-99.

Critchley, T.A. (1978), ‘The History of Police in England and Wales’ in Mawby, Rob I. (1990), Comparative Police Issues: The British and American system in international perspective, London: Unwin Hyman.

Celador, Gemma Collantes et al (2008), Fostering an EU Strategy for Security Sector Reform in the Mediterranean: Learning from Turkish and Palestinian Police Reform Experiences, EuroMeSCo Paper 66 (January 2008)

Emsley, Clive (1991), the English Police, a Political and Social History, Second Edition, Addison Wesley: Longman

Hin, Mercedes S and Newburn, Tim (2008) Policing Developing Democracies, Taylor & Francis

Hodgson, Jacqueline (2005), French Criminal Justice: A Comparative Account of the Investigation and Prosecution of Crime in France, Hart, University of Michigan

Lambert, John L. (1986) Police Powers and Accountability, Taylor & Francis

Manwaring-White, Sarah (1983) the Policing Revolution, Police Technology, Democracy and Liberty in Britain, the Harvester Press

Mawby, Rob I. (1990), Comparative Police Issues: The British and American system in international perspective, London: Unwin Hyman.

Mawby, RI (1992) Comparative police systems: searching for a continental model, pp: 108-132 in K. Bottomley, T. Fowles and R. Reiner (eds.) (1992) Criminal Justice: Theory and Practice, British Criminology Conference 1991, London: British Society of Criminology.

Mawby Rob I. (2008), Models of Policing, in Newburn, Tim (ed.) (2008) Handbook of Policing, 2nd Edition, Cullompton: Willan, pp: 17-46.

Radzinowicz, L. (1956a), A history of English Criminal Law and its administration from 1750, Volume 1: The Movement for Reform in Mawby, Rob I. (1990), Comparative Police Issues: The British and American system in international perspective, London: Unwin Hyman.

Reynolds, Elaine A. (1998), Before the Bobbies, Stanford University Press.

Liang, Hsi-Huey (2002), The Rise of Modern Police and the European State System from Metternich to the Second World War, Cambridge University Press, pp: 11-13.

Tupman, Bill and Tupman, Alison (1999), Policing in Europe, Intellect Books.

Websites

Home office (2009) About Us, available: http://police.homeoffice.gov.uk/about-us/ last accessed 18 March 2009.

Directorate General of Security (2009) Community Policing, available: http://www.asayis.pol.tr/tdpyapilanmasunumu_dosyalar/frame.htm. Last accessed 18 March 2009.

Interpol (2009) France: Police system, available: http://www.interpol.int/Public/Region/Europe/pjsystems/France.asp. Last accessed 18 March 2009

Additional Source

Green Paper (2008), From the Neighbourhood to the National: Policing Our Communities Together, Green Paper, Home Office, July 2008

1 Tythingman was of Saxon times and he was elected by his peers in the local community and exercised wide responsibilities for all aspects of local government on heir behalf… He was not , however, a royal officer, as his authority derived from the community he served rather than from the sovereign (Lambert, 1986, p: 21)

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