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Chapter 1: The strategic police leader


This introductory chapter outlines the structure of the book and describes the main focus of the work. It begins with some thoughts on the modern police service and the role of police commanders in terms of strategic leadership. The chapter then discusses community harm and explains the three-pronged focus for crime reduction; addressing crime hot spots, targeting prolific offenders, and reducing criminal opportunities. The chapter also contains an explanation for the checklists in the book, and the overall structure based on the PANDA model. The website for supporting materials and further reading is noted. The chapter concludes with a bullet point summary.

Headings and sub-headings

The new world of police leadership
A community harm perspective
A three-pronged approach to crime reduction
The PANDA model
The structure of this book
Chapter summary

Additional links

Vignette author Tracey Thompson joined the New Zealand Police in 1995 and has since worked in three policing districts, the Royal NZ Police College and Police National Headquarters. For more background you can read about her below, and the New Zealand Police have more information on Wellington District in New Zealand, where Tracey Thompson is an area commander. 

Figure 1.1 uses data drawn from two sources. Gallup have a regularly updated website that features crime-related topics. It is a good resource for national perspectives on a variety of issues. If you are in the United States, macro-level crime statistics are freely available from the FBI's Crime in the United States pages. Be advised that there is often a lag in reporting time, and some jurisdictions are slack in recording, hampering gaining a full national picture. The UCR system is slowly being phased out in favor of the NIBRS approach. 

A community harm perspective is related to concepts of harm-focused policing. A collection of resources related to harm focused policing is available here

Sir Denis O'Connor has led a particularly distinguished policing career. Details can be found on his bio page at the University of Cambridge, and on Wikipedia

Sara Thornton, also quoted in the chapter, has equally led a distinguished police career

Frederick Wensley is cited a couple of times in the book. Details of his career can be found here. I couldn't find any evidence that he ever shortened his name to Fred. Maybe he just wasn't a 'Fred'. He was, however, nicknamed 'The Weasel'

Vignette authors

Tracey Thompson

Inspector Tracey Thompson joined the New Zealand Police in 1995 and has since worked in three policing districts, the Royal NZ Police College and Police National Headquarters.   She has diversified in many areas of the police including working as a detective in the Criminal Investigation Branch, as National Manager Youth, Practice Leader Maori, Culture and Diversity, and as Maori Responsiveness Manager.  She is currently the Area Commander Kapiti Mana, an area which is within the wider Wellington Police District. Geographically spread Kapiti Mana is rich in diversity with a large proportion of its population Maori and Pasifika. The NZ Police's mission is to be ‘the Safest Country’, and their purpose is for their communities to ‘be safe and feel safe’ with a vision to have the ‘trust and confidence of all’. This is what makes her excited to come to work.

Jared Parkin

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Alex Murray is responsible for crime investigation in the West Midlands, UK. He has experience in homicide counter terrorism and local policing. His Master’s degree thesis at Cambridge University developed the understanding of police legitimacy within Muslim communities. He is passionate about the police being evidence based and founded the Society for Evidence Based Policing. In 2014 he received the Superintendents award for Excellence in Policing and has been recognized by George Mason University’s Centre for Evidence Based Policing. In 2017 he was awarded an OBE for services to policing.

Gareth Stubbs

Gareth is a serving Police Inspector in the UK with 16 years’ service. His current role involves attempting to influence frontline practice with a variety of evidence based initiatives. He holds two degrees, two Masters degrees, and is currently mid-PhD studying social isolation in policing. Gareth was a graduate police officer, but has dedicated himself to study whilst working in frontline roles for 90% of his career. He is hoping to create real reform, using the principles of research as a base for improved decision making. In his spare time (what little there actually is with a full time job, part time PhD, two children and a studying wife), he enjoys spending time with his family and lifting heavy things, but likes to keep these activities separate! You can follow Gareth on twitter at @DedicatedPeeler

Chapter-related review questions

Chapter 1: The core goal(s) of modern policing are:
A.    Prevent crime
B.    Increase community safety and security
C.    Build public trust and confidence in the police
D.    All of the above
Chapter 1: What police function has taken on a more significant role as funding for other community agencies has diminished?
A.    The arrest and prosecution role
B.    The social service function
C.    The incarceration role
D.    The community policing function
Chapter 1: The reduction in crime across the US since the 1990s has been matched by an increase in public confidence in the police. True or false?
A.    TRUE
Chapter 1: Management meetings that rush to address problems yet lack any strategic perspective are often the mechanism by which we police. Sir Denis O'Conor described this policing as being like:
A.    Schoolboy football
B.    Kids basketball
C.    Schoolyard baseball
D.    Kindergarten policing
Chapter 1: The Reducing Crime book stresses a deliberate process to focus on three crime reduction priorities. Which of these is NOT one of the priorities?
A.    Reduce criminal opportunities
B.    Engage in proactive policing
C.    Increase arrest rate
D.    Address crime hot spots
Chapter 1: Proactive policing recognizes that 6 percent of the population commit X percent of the crime. What does X represent?
A.    6
B.    66
C.    90
D.    60
Chapter 1: What percentage of police departments use hot spots, offender-focused, and problem-oriented policing for crime-fighting?
A.    90
B.    50
C.    30
D.    10
Chapter 1: The PANDA model from the book Reducing Crime is designed for emergency calls and frontline response policing. True or false?
A.    TRUE
Chapter 1: The future of policing is described as harm-focused, intelligence-led, problem-oriented, and evidence-based. True or false?
A.    TRUE

Select another chapter: Chp 1  |  Chp 2  |  Chp 3  |  Chp 4  |  Chp 5  |  Chp 6  |  Chp 7  |  Chp 8  |  Chp 9  |  Chp 10  |  Chp 11

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