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Community policing or zero tolerance?: Preferences of police officers from 22 countries in transition.

Lum, Cynthia
June 4, 2015

Source: (2009) British Journal of Criminology. 49: 788-809.

Since the 1970s, approximately 60 countries in the world have experienced major political transition
away from authoritarianism towards democracy and more liberal modes of governance. Subsequently,
this era has provided opportunities for researchers to observe how major changes in the political
environment affect a country’s policing practices. This study is the fi rst of a two paper series on the
relationship between democratization and police attitudes, preferences and behaviours. This study
reports the results of a pilot study of 315 police supervisors from 22 transitioning nations asking
about their preferences towards two different styles of crime prevention — community-oriented policing
and zero tolerance approaches. The results indicate that the offi cers from countries more democratically
consolidated tend to have stronger relative preferences towards community-oriented policing over
zero tolerance styles. (author’s abstract)


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