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The diffusion of police innovation: A case study of problem-oriented policing in England and Wales



Bullock, K;

Sidebottom, A;

Laycock, G;

Tilley, N;

(2022)

The diffusion of police innovation: A case study of problem-oriented policing in England and Wales.

International Journal of Police Science and Management


10.1177/14613557221106084.

(In press).

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Abstract

There is significant evidence demonstrating that when done well, problem-oriented policing is associated with meaningful reductions in crime and public safety concerns. And yet, history shows that the implementation and delivery of problem-oriented policing is challenging, and that police organisations have generally not adopted it and even when they try to it is often rejected over time. This article draws on the concept of ‘diffusion of innovation’ (Rogers, E. (2003) Diffusion of Innovations, 5th edn. New York: Free Press) to unpick aspects of the processes through which problem-oriented policing has been adopted or otherwise among police forces in England and Wales. This article shows how factors related to the nature of problem-oriented policing – notably its incompatibility with prevailing norms and values of the police service, its complexity and unobservability – have influenced its adoption. Implications are also discussed.

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