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The 'Small-scale Initiative'; the Rhetoric and the Reality of Community Policing in Australia


Fleming, J and O'Reilly, J, The 'Small-scale Initiative'; the Rhetoric and the Reality of Community Policing in Australia, Policing, 1, (1) pp. 214-222. ISSN 1752-4512 (2007) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© The Author 2007. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at:

DOI: doi:10.1093/police/pam023


Australian police jurisdictions engage in several forms of community policing. Numerous initiatives in all states and territories are delivered through a range of programs. Common to these programs is a commitment to community engagement and participation. This article briefly examines community policing practice in Australia and considers the challenges of developing a comprehensive community policing model. It suggests that community policing in Australia is not a fully developed concept and its approach is essentially ‘small scale’, ie. a local approach intended to bring police into non-confrontational contact with the community. The article considers the organisational and managerial constraints that hinder the development of strong community policing models in Australia. It argues that conflicting governing structures, the absence of legislative and policy support, an emphasis on performance management in a highly politicised environment and the expectations of a community whose support is imperative to police legitimacy are the primary constraining factors.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:community policing, community engagement, non-confrontational contact
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Criminology
Research Field:Police administration, procedures and practice
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Law enforcement
UTAS Author:Fleming, J (Professor Jenny Fleming)
ID Code:51200
Year Published:2007
Deposited By:Government
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2016-09-30

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