Intelligence-Led and Community-Based Policing: The Effects on Community Relations

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Timbury, Andrea
Police , Procedural Justice and Police Legitimacy , Community-Oriented Policing , Intelligence-Led Policing
As the police organization evolves to meet the ever-changing needs of the 21st century, policing styles and philosophies continue to innovate in an attempt to reduce crime and maintain order. Each fluctuation in policing style has affected the public, particularly minority groups, in its own specific manner. This paper discusses these fluctuations in policing in Canada with a focus on the most recent and popular styles of policing: community-oriented and intelligence-led policing, as implemented under the Ontario Mobilization and Engagement Model (OMEM) in 2010. Specifically, through a survey study with officers from Waterloo Regional Police Services this work seeks to examine whether police officers who have been hired and trained under OMEM are more supportive of community-oriented and intelligence-led policing styles than officers hired previously, and whether these officers differ in their perceptions of the relationships between police and minority communities. Empirical work is framed though a procedural justice lens, and posits that police legitimacy, and thus community relations and public support, are directly affected by officers operating in a procedurally just manner. It is argued here that procedural justice is inherent in community-oriented policing activities, and thus, officers who are trained under OMEM will be supportive of community-oriented policing and will behave in a more procedurally just manner, increasing police legitimacy and improving community relations. Results indicate that full organizational change did not occur following OMEM, with officers hired after OMEM showing more support for some COP and ILP activities but not necessarily engaging in them more. In some cases, officers hired after OMEM were more likely to be critical of community relations and to report greater divisiveness with different minority groups. This suggests that while OMEM may raise awareness and support, there is still a lack of full organizational engagement with COP and ILP. These results have implications for policy, suggesting that a greater proportion of resources need to be committed to long-term community-oriented policing activities, with particular attention paid to new immigrants in the region, in order to fully incorporate COP and ILP activities into all aspects of police work.
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