Globalization of Quantitative Policing: Between Management and Statactivism
Posted: 7 Sep 2018
Date Written: July 2018
Information policing seems to be pervading public security police all around the world. This review asks whether this appellation describes a homogeneous set of phenomena. Compstat was the first program to massively computerize policing. The literature reviewed here follows its fate in the United States and, on a global scale, in France, where the program was imported. The review successively discusses the perspective of managers who were favorable to the program and that of “statactivists,” activists who use statistics, who were opposed to it. Despite the many differences intervened during the importation process, especially in the balance of expertise and publicity, some points seem to be common to both contexts, such as the building of a computer infrastructure, a specific use of the data, and the constructive tensions between the police institution and its critics.
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