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Conditions, Actions and Purposes (CAP): A Dynamic Model for Community Policing in Europe

O’Neill, Megan; van der Giessen, Mark; Bayerl, Petra Saskia; Hail, Yvonne; Aston, Elizabeth; Houtsonen, Jarmo


Megan O’Neill

Mark van der Giessen

Petra Saskia Bayerl

Yvonne Hail

Jarmo Houtsonen


Despite its popularity as a policing method and evidence of its positive affect on communities, community policing has defied attempts to establish a clear definition and replicable form. Often regarded as an Anglo-American policing method in origin, community policing is now found across the world and is growing in influence. The need for differentiated local implementation raises important questions regarding the core features of community policing to guide the work of practitioners. Integrating insights from the existing literature and a trans-European project involving 323 interviews with community members and police officers across eight countries, we propose a dynamic model for community policing. In this original model, we differentiate between the conditions, actions and purposes of community policing (CAP) and describe how these core components are required for effective community policing, interrelated, and flexible enough for local implementation. Accordingly, we show how the CAP model is adaptable while at the same time retaining a sense of what makes ‘community policing’ a unique and identifiable policing method. We conclude our study with a discussion of the implications for research and practice internationally.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 26, 2023
Online Publication Date Apr 8, 2023
Publication Date 2023-04
Deposit Date May 12, 2023
Publicly Available Date May 12, 2023
Journal Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice
Print ISSN 1752-4512
Electronic ISSN 1752-4520
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
Keywords Law, community policing, criminology


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