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Critically Reflecting on being 'at Risk' and 'a Risk' in Vulnerable People Policing


Stanford, S, Critically Reflecting on being 'at Risk' and 'a Risk' in Vulnerable People Policing, Policing Vulnerability, The Federation Press, I Bartkowiak-Theron and NL Asquith (ed), Annandale, NSW, pp. 20-32. ISBN 978-186287-897-6 (2012) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2012 Federation Press

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Risk and vulnerability are related concepts. When speaking about vulnerability, we often suggest that people are "at risk" in some way; either from individual traits and experiences (such as dependency, disability or psychological distress) or from external factors located in people's environments (such as, lack of access to affordable housing, living in areas with high crime rates or from experiencing discrimination). For example, in policing, risk assessments are done to identify the likelihood of crimes occurring in particular locations or to specific people. Assessments are done to determine which individuals and communities are at risk of criminal acts. Similarly, profiles are conducted of who is likely to commit a crime. Hence assessments are done to determine which individuals and groups of people are likely to commit crimes. I argue in this chapter that ideas about risk, vulnerability and dangerousness are often spoken about in taken-for-granted terms; that is, we assume that what and who is "at risk" (that is, vulnerable} and what and who is "a risk" {that is, dangerous) is a matter of common sense. This means that our assumptions about what seems "natural" about risk- and hence ideas about vulnerability and dangerousness - can remain unexamined and this can be problematic in the policing context because of the potential to unwittingly reinforce ideas about individuals and communities that disrupt the social goals of policing.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:Risk Vulnerability Policing Critical Reflection
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:Criminal justice
UTAS Author:Stanford, S (Associate Professor Sonya Stanford)
ID Code:81006
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Sociology and Social Work
Deposited On:2012-11-21
Last Modified:2017-10-17
Downloads:7 View Download Statistics

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