1st Edition

Policing by the Public

By Joanna Shapland, Jon Vagg Copyright 1988

    Originally published in 1988, Policing by the Public opened up an entirely new field within criminology and the sociology of deviance. The authors focus on the nature of informal social control in both villages and urban centres to show the kinds of policing people do for themselves, within their communities, in an endeavour to curb crime and deviance.

    Taking as the basis for their study both a rural and an urban community, Joanna Shapland and Jon Vagg are able to counter many of the existing myths about these areas. Beginning with a description of the kinds of problems people experience in their own neighbourhoods, they explore who watches what, who intervenes, and the stereotypes of ‘troublesome’ people and situations that emerge. This study sheds important light on the nature of concern and fear about crime and disorder, the use people want to make of the police and, significantly, the kind of policing they get.

    Policing by the Public made a major contribution to contemporary international debate about informal mechanisms of social control at the time. It offered a new approach to thinking about policing that will still be of interest not only to criminologists, sociologists, police and policymakers, but also to anyone who is curious about how his or her area actually worked.

    Acknowledgements.  1. Introduction: The Soft Underbelly?  2. Areas and Neighbourhoods  3. What the Police Know About: Crime and Calls for Police Services  4. The Nature of Problems  5. The Beginnings of Control: Watching and Noticing  6. Intervention  7. Concern about Crime  8. What the Public Get and What They Want  9. Police Views of Policing  10. Policing by the Public?  Appendix: Methods.  References.  Name Index.  Subject Index.


    Joanna Shapland and Jon Vagg