In the news...

2014-07-07 12:27

COMPOSITE conference "Good Leaderships in Times of Change – Empirical Findings and Suggestions for Police Leaders" by Kate Horton

COMPOSITE's final conference on "Good Leaderships in Times of Change – Empirical Findings and Suggestions for Police Leaders" on 12 and 13 June 2014 in Rotterdam (the Netherlands)

Read more …

2014-07-03 13:45

"Police is regain control by using twitter and Co."

COMPOSITE researcher were interviewed about their research on "police & social media".

Read more …

Comprehensive Overview of Policing Opportunities and Threats in European Police Forces

2011-11-02 09:30

First Major Empirical Work Package On The Basis of 470 Interviews Concluded

After one year of exhaustive empirical research in ten European countries, Arjan van den Born, the leader of Work Package 1 and researcher at Utrecht University, presented the main results of this research in a brochure that can be downloaded from the Composite website. Research teams in ten European countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Macedonia, Romania, Spain and the UK) did a grand total of 470 interviews across all hierarchical levels and collected data to map the major environmental trends for police forces in these ten countries. The trends identified were clustered into five categories: political, economic, social, technological, and legal trends. These five categories, known as PESTL-trends, give a fairly comprehensive overview of changes on the environment of police organisations that are likely to affect police work, organisational structures and strategies in relevant ways.
The main findings of the PESTL-analysis can be summed up as follows:

  1. The ongoing economic downturn accompanied with cuts in the public budgets has a strong and negative impact on the European police forces. Although the associated budget cuts can potentially have a long-lasting effect on the police, the overall impact is largely of a short-term nature that, for a large part, already has run its course.
  2. Societal and technological developments are perceived to generate the largest long-run impact on European police forces, hence representing the greatest opportunity for and the largest threat to the police.
  3. By and large, government-induced changes are assessed to have limited impact on the police. This suggests that the police forces should focus on developing their knowledge of technology, as well as on deepening their understanding of and adapting their dealing with societal trends. Reorganisations that do not contribute to increasing technological knowledge or understanding of societal trends run the risk of having little, if any, impact on the strategic positioning of the police, and may even negatively influence police performance.
  4. There is a large overlap as to the importance and nature of the key PESTL trends, suggesting convergence in the European Union.

Beside the PESTL analysis, a study of the identity, role and influence of external parties – or stakeholders – was carried out. From this, we learned that the cross-country differences as to external parties are somewhat larger than those regarding the external PESTL trends, probably simply because the legal framework varies across countries. Nevertheless, in all countries, a government is often the formal authority. In some cases, this is the national government; in other countries, this is the local government; and sometimes, this is yet another level of government (e.g., the “Länder” in Germany, a regional board in the Netherlands, or an autonomous community such as Catalonia in Spain). In general, the interviewed representatives from police forces feel that the demands from and expectations of the government are not very predictable. Perhaps because of this, police forces are very active in managing the expectations of the relevant governmental authority or authorities. By and large, the assessment is that they are doing a reasonably successful job in this respect.
The major conclusions from this part of the analysis are as follows:

  1. In general the European police forces perform rather satisfactory on the expectations of their most important external stakeholders; the government (i.e. often the formal authority), and the judicial bodies (e.g. public prosecution).
  2. However the performance of the police versus the expectations of the citizens is significantly lower. Although the expectations of citizens are pretty clear, the police find it difficult to fulfil these expectations. This is partly due to citizen’s lack of understanding of police work, but may also be caused by the lack of active management of citizens’ expectations.
  3. Given the considerable influence of the citizens on the police, this suggests that police forces need to improve the management of the expectations of citizens.
  4. The performance of the police regarding the expectations of partner organizations is also quite low. By and large, the interviewees express the opinion that the police do not manage the expectations of these partner organisations very well.


Brochure: "Policing Opportunities and Threats"


Go back