The Institutionalization of Public Safety in Policing

The paper starts with the description of the element that ultimately frames policing: the social construction of public safety. The author distinguishes between three forms of the concept. First, order ensures the stability of power structures. Second, dichotomic safety encompasses the official notion of safety based on statistics and representations of the authorities on the one hand, and the subjective perception of public safety by the population, on the other hand. What distinguishes the third concept, reflexive safety from the second is that in the latter one, there is a direct communication between the official and subjective element. In the second part of the study the author analyses policing within the framework of all three concepts, and argues for a police organization based on the concept of reflexive safety: one that is flexible, pro-active, encourages critical thinking in the force, and in which issues in public safety are defined in direct communication with local communities.

Released: Replika 74, 205–230.
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