'Stop or I'll Call the Police!': The Idea of Police, or the Effects of Police Encounters Over Time

Posted: 29 Feb 2008  

Domicio Proenca Junior

University of Brazil

Jacqueline Muniz

University of Brazil

Date Written: March 2006

Abstract

This article develops Bittner's (1974) theory of the police by considering the effect of police encounters over time. It argues that the expectation that the police will intervene whenever called establishes the 'idea of police' in the public, and how this makes the idea of police a pre-eminent factor in the preservation of law and order in democratic societies. The 'idea of police' is then applied exploratorily to the results of the Kansas City and Newark Patrol Experiments and for the 'quasi-experimental' dynamics of Brazil's 1997 police strike, demonstrating its explanatory value. In conclusion, this article argues that the preservation of the idea of police is the paramount concern for police policy and management.

Suggested Citation

Junior, Domicio Proenca and Muniz, Jacqueline, 'Stop or I'll Call the Police!': The Idea of Police, or the Effects of Police Encounters Over Time (March 2006). The British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 46, Issue 2, pp. 234-257, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=905696 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azi072

Domicio Proenca Junior

University of Brazil ( email )

Campus Universitario Darcy Ribeiro
Brasilia, DF 70919-970
Brazil

Jacqueline Muniz (Contact Author)

University of Brazil

Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro
Asa Norte
Brasília, Distrito Federal 70910-900
Brazil

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