by Norbert Pütter
„Community Policing“ (CP) foresees the co-operation of the police and the community on a local level in order to solve security and crime problems together. Against the background of Anglo-American experiences, the author presents the central elements of CP and discusses the preconditions and consequences of community oriented police work. At first sight, CP seems to be a democratic and promising solution to the crises of the present police system. However, on closer scrutiny of certain aspects of CP, considerable problems begin to appear. The concept of „community“ is not adequately explained and it is not clear what the CP philosophy entails for the police force as a whole. The author concludes, that whilst democratic promises are not fulfilled, the establishment of CP exemplifies a new repressive control strategy which reacts to the dangers of the „risk society“.
Community Policing in the US
by Albrecht Funk
In the US, the Community Policing Philosophy advocated by police theoreticians and practitioners has turned into a broad-based reformist movement, whose central aims and principles could be summarised as follows: a decentralisation of police work, a problem solving approach, citizen’s orientation and the active participation of citizens. In practice, several types of Community Policing (CP) have emerged, combining these principles in different ways: CP as symbolic politics as in Pittsburgh, as Zero-Tolerance politics à la New York, as „Township and Suburbia Style“ and as „Community-oriented policing“ as in San Diego or Chicago. The success of CP is limited and the socio-political end result remains disappointing, because CP cannot compensate for impoverishment and the loss of traditional forms of communal participation.
Citizen oriented police work
by Norbert Pütter
This contribution gives an overview over current tendencies within „Citizen oriented police work“ in Germany. It deals with five different concepts: 1. the claim that „citizen orientation“ has always been part of police practices, but this has failed to be conveyed to the public so the latter should be remedied 2. „citizen orientation“ is listed as one of the many aims of present police reforms. 3. citizens are encouraged by the police to control the immediate social environment and pass information on to the police. 4. intensification of repression and rigorous police intervention are labelled as „citizen orientation“. 5. demands include preventative police work which is directed at everyday security problems. In all these variants, „citizen oriented police work“ does not fulfil the hopes which the concept itself seeks to entail: if it does not simply remain a rhetorical exercise, it will inevitably lead to increased police repression and/or it will extend police responsibilities.
Follow the trend: public surveys conducted by the police
by Anja Lederer
For several years now, public surveys have become increasingly popular in the police force. These surveys supposedly serve a citizen friendly police work. In reality however, they are used not only to maintain the claim of an increasing feeling of insecurity amongst the public, but also to support demands for more police presence and stronger rights of intervention.
Communal crime politics in Germany
by Christine Hohmeyer
1,380 crime preventative committees are registered nation-wide as part of the „Infopool Prevention“ programme of the Federal Crime Police Office (BKA). An analysis of this source of data shows that the promised participation of citizens in local security politics is inadequately realised. The police on the other hand is participating in almost all of the committees. Moreover, the author points out that possibilities of intervention and strategies are limited in these committees.
Safety in the Schöneberger North
by Christine Hohmeyer
In January 1998, the „Prevention Council Schöneberger Norden“ was founded in Berlin. The diverse activities of the new committee are not only aimed at security. Through the co-operation between citizens and authorities a new form of communal politics is developing, where neg-lected tasks are reinvigorated under the label of crime prevention.
Munich police scandals
by Siegfried Krempel
Last year, Munich has become an infamous example of police violence and police scandals: several proceedings were initiated against the „Wiesn-wache“ police station on grounds of bodily harm, there are reports of cases of serious bullying, some of which ended in suicide, officers of the station have been involved in fatal shootings and several other incidents have occurred. The response of the Bavarian interior ministry to the scandals was a „9-point-programme“ for the Munich police, which, amongst other things, foresaw an opinion poll amongst the police officers. According to the results of the poll, a quarter of the men and a third of the women stated they had experienced bullying in the work place. Because the internal control mechanism does not function adequately, the author suggests an improvement of the external control mechanism.
by Rolf Gössner
After an arson attack on the Göttingen employment office in 1997, the Lower Saxony police force initiated preliminary proceedings against 105 men and women. The list of the 105 suspects was obviously based on old criminal files and data from the so-called ‚evidence documentation data bases‘ (Spudok), which were compiled in the beginning of the 1980’s during investigations on alleged terrorism. Already in 1983, the then interior minister assured that the data had been destroyed and that those registered had never been under criminal suspicion. That this was not the case becomes evident through the present Spudok-scandal.