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Strengths, Weaknesses And Positive Effects Of Community Policing

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Advancements in conventional policing have strengths and weaknesses. Policing is being strengthened with active crime prevention. Commitments to community policing and flexibility see adaptations within the police force when addressing evolving crime. Proactive conventional policing is based on traditional police practice, with the addition of technological advancements in intelligence-led policing. Operational tactics and organisational structures are changing current crime control philosophy and police practice.

This essay will discuss various issues surrounding the strengths and weaknesses attributed to the primary process and benefits in advancement models of policing. The main subtopics of the essay will be rapid advancements in conventional policing, including patrol & rapid response, legal authority and constraints, police activity research, challenges to standard model policing and foot patrol police. The limitations of conventional policing, strategic shifts in operational police practice, community policing, advanced techniques & systems integrate, with advanced models of hot spot policing, third party policing, recruitment management and leadership with evidence, examples and comparing the contrast from different perspectives.

I hypothesise that conventional police practice has a proactive focus on crime prevention. Conventional police practice and organisations all have strengths and weaknesses, but overall are proactive in advancing towards better more efficient and reliable consistency of policing.

The integration of traditional policing strategies of effectiveness and efficiency are combined with advancements in contemporary police practice to reduce crime.

The standard model of policing is the basics from which today’s conventional police force has been formed. The process of rapid advancements is strengthening the process of policing, seeing increased benefits within conventional policing. Weisburd & Eck’s (2004) stated that police typology is two dimensional, diversity of approach and level of focus. The standard model strategies of the traditional policing approaches to dealing with the crime were mainly developed during the reform or professional era in the 1930s; the standards are the strength and basis of the conventional police force ( Kelling & Moore 1998). The standard policing weakness lacks empirical support; instead, the focus should be on police practice that is tailored and expanded beyond standardisation within law enforcement would be more beneficial (Sherman 1997).

Patrol and rapid response are an integral element of contemporary policing. Patrol is the backbone of policing (Walker 1977). With advancements in technology stations and beats have 24/7 geographical coverage. The community sees strength in numbers with more visibility of police in uniforms, police cars and foot patrols. Rapids response is covered through call centres triage system. The triage system is operated by highly trained personal, which strengthens rapid response times.

Reactive policing is essential, but a balance of police strategy needs to be considered and assessed by police agencies (Drew & Prenzler 2015). The classical theory of crime deterrence is by certainty, severity, swiftness of punishment and incapacitation. The standard model of patrol policing includes investigating, traffic policing, emergency assistance and management, missing persons, court security, risky evictions, death notices, random breath testing and dragnets and licensing checks. In conventional police CCTV surveillance is beneficial for society, tracking people’s movements, credit card analysis and travel movements. The negative of CCTV surveillance is that people feel like their privacy is being invaded. Riot police and police rescue are highly trained to be dispersed in situations where beat police need extra assistance to keep the community safe.

Legal authority and constraints are an ongoing debate, strengthen police authority using more restraint or does more force reduce the community respect for the police? Police have the legal power to arrest citizens for indictable crimes using proportionate force. Specific police powers differ for each incident, in an accident or crime scene the police have the power to direct, stop suspects, search, question name and address if under reasonable suspicion (Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000). Police have the legal authority to constrain a suspect if an assault, for example, is committed. Legal authority and proportionate constraint strengthen and develops respect throughout the community.

Community satisfaction depends on perceived expectations to faster response times. Witness and victim statements consume police response times to solving crimes. Police science advancements and increasing data resource availability and saving time which is strengthening outcomes (Sullivan 2018).

Foot patrol outcomes do not show a reduction in crime; however, statistics show that people feel safer if they see police around. Optimising patrols through crew sizes, shift lengths, triage priorities, reduced public expectations, delaying responses to none critical call outs, offload of non-core tasks and prevention of false alarms would see a better outcome (Ratcliffe, Groff, Sorg & Haberman 2015). The limitations of conventional policing methods, including prevention patrols. Between calls for service, officers are expected to randomly cruise neighbourhoods doing prevention patrols to deter crime. Prevention patrols decrease citizens fears that the police are deterring offenders by their presence. While this may increase the public’s feeling of safety, research shows no significant difference in criminal activity when patrols are present.

The rapid response suggests that responding quickly to the scene of an incident increases the police’s ability to catch the offender. Victim assistance response is more accurate when information is received quickly after the crime was committed. Calls for service are dispatched quickly with new technology, which has improved response time (Kelling and Moore (1998).

In conventional police recruitment, it is not just size and strength that is taken into consideration. Strengths in conventional policing come from a better, more rounded recruitment process. Psychological tests, job analysis, integrity checks, higher education, equity & affirmative action, representative selection committees and civilianisation are all part of the recruitment criteria. Even with advancements in the recruitment process, police officers still need ongoing psychological checks. Proactive mental health support is a primary process and benefits attributed to advanced models of policing (Adams, Stanwick & Marden 2002).

Strategic shifts in operational police practice come from politicians and the community; their reaction to crime is to increase police numbers. The police to population ratio is an objective measure to weather the police numbers are sufficient to fulfil the policing mandate (Drew & Prenzler 2010). A methodological and statistical rigour to understanding the addition of police numbers in reducing crimes rates is analysed in police data (Marvell & Moody 1996). Each additional police officer added to larger cities with an average population of 250,000 reduced the crime rate by 24 fewer crimes (Sherman 1997).

Weaknesses in conventional policing are represented by miscarriages of justice, negligent investigations, failure to prosecute, vindictive investigations/prosecutions, excessive/inadequate penalties and wrongful convictions. Low crime conviction rates in Australia of 4% crimes and imprisonment rate of 1% is not going to reduce recidivism (Mukherjee 1987).

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Positive effective reforms through community policing consultations and liaison officers in seeing policies and procedures for alternatives to arrest and detention being implemented. Community engagement and increased community and police safety through the reduction of escalating situations.

Advanced techniques & systems integrating mixed teams, multi-tasking and specialist agencies are at the forefront of the primary process and benefits attributed to advanced models of policing. The primary process and benefits attributed to advanced models are developments in the modern technological era. Technological advancements for interviews are crucial; interviews are recorded with modern equipment which will preserve the evidence and case material long term, in case of cold cases or future evidence. Interviewing has ethical values and is completed with preparation, respect, non-coercive voice and assistance for welfare assistance if required. Advanced models of policing now include cold case units, independent forensic science units, independent forensic unit accreditation & auditing, media management, case auditing (quality control, criminal case review commissions, victim & witness communication and computer alerts for victim contacts (Drew & Prenzler 2015).

Contemporary police practice includes community policing, hot spot policing, third party policing and problem-orientated policing. Community policing strength is the relationship between procedural justice and police legitimacy, which reduces crime outcomes (Sherman & Eck 2002). Weaknesses of community policing are the agencies do not have a clear understanding of expected outcomes. Community officers need to be more excepted by police; they are working to help them after all. Advanced models of problem-orientated policing (POP) is attributing to better analysis and problem-solving in repose to crime reduction outcomes (National Research Council 2004).

Advanced models of hot spot policing are one of the main processes which are currently being focused on to strengthen the police force. The fight against crime through hot spot policing has weaknesses in its approach. Spatial displacement is the main weakness or criticism observed from hot spot policing; the criminals move on to another area (Weisburd & Eck 2004). The strength of hot spot policing is employing officers to specific crime locations. Advanced models show that specific times of high crime concentration of police officers will reduce crimes committed.

Third-party policing builds on police development by adopting partnerships. Third-party policing is strengthening the police force through legal, civil and regulators, seeing a positive outcome specifically in controlling drugs, violent crime and youth associated problems (Mazerolle & Ransley 2006).

Investigating is prioritisation through a triage system are used in policing to utilise police resources effectively. Investigation of crime has become a formal and significant role in policing. The investigation detective units are a positive focus away from private prosecutions to recent prosecutions (Matassa & Newburn 2007). The strength in prosecuting crimes is due to the switch from civil law to modern criminal law. The weakness of detective investigation units is corruption, deterring honest police from applying to join the detective units.

Police diversity within diverse communities is often divided by race, ethnicity, location, social status and gender. The police are challenged to the task of egalitarian and being impartial. The subordinate statue can seem vulnerable, such as homeless people. The weakness is police oppression which is a reoccurring problem amongst minority’s, for example, race riots. Racism and discrimination by police within communities show marginalised groups have less respect for police, as they feel targeted and reserve more attention. In the year 2000, an American survey concluded that support for police from white people was 64 per cent, but support from African Americans was only 37 per cent (Gabbidon & Greene p. 117, 2013). Improving and strengthening relationships between police and minority’s is coming from the formulation of respect and continuation of programs on both sides, community support and police training.

Recruitment management and leadership effectiveness are essential for conventional police reputation and functioning. Weaknesses occur when the wrong officers are selected for a specific police function which he or she is not trained for or has not got the will to authority to do the job correctly. With a large number of people applying for the police force the strength of officers both physically, psychological and educational makes the selection of recruits of a higher standard level (Kumar 2009). Effective human resource management contributes positively to advanced models of conventional policing.

Accountability and regulation are proactively adopting new systems and performance measures in conventional police practice. Weakness in accountability was seen throughout the 1980s with misconduct scandals. Strengthening accountability through new systems and performance criteria is controlling the process more proactively. Police are accountable when on duty and obliged to be responsible and liable.

Strengthening in regulations is seeing better control, management, compliance, mitigation, performance measures, standards, strategies and restraint within the conventional force (Prenzler 2019). The Australian Government Productivity Commission (2018) stated that on average of 82% of people were satisfied with police services and 74% of people agreed that police treat people fairly.

Attention to problems, issues, debates and conflicts occurs in various locations. Police organisations and security companies see threats and are calling for the Government to update protocol for dealing with new waves of crime. New policing powers of detention and questioning have also been given to the leading domestic security agency. The Australian Secret Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and on occasions to the military, and policing functions and powers have been very broadly extended to local governments, infrastructure providers and providers of financial and private security services (Baldino 2007).

Counter-terrorism branches of the (AFP) now have a national counter-terrorism planning committee (McFarlane, 2007). (AFP) have broader new powers to respond to the domestic risk of terrorism through new legislation, powers, security, military response and surveillance techniques (Australian Federal Police 2001).

The primary process and benefits attributed to advanced models of conventional policing are being seen through innovative technological advancements. Most notably is information gathering through crime mapping, data mining, storage and retrieval systems and surveillance including CCTV, listening devices and satellites. These technologies are used in a range of information-dependent tactics such as problem oriented policing and intelligence-led policing. Technology is a primary tool, both for information gathering and intelligence systems for surveillance and for analysis in COMP STAT, risk assessment tools.

In concluding the standard model of policing strengths benefit from increased visibility which is a general deterrence of crime through foot patrols and motorised patrols. Support systems for victims and families are provided through follow up investigations, for example, a domestic violence case. Weaknesses include the risk of racial profiling and lack of community involvement. Strategic programs are strengthening police approaches to crime with technological advancements leading the way for the future through intelligence surveillance.

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