In this conceptual piece, we argue that the current approach to police performance measurement typically based on the use of traditional police metrics has failed to achieve the desired results and that a different strategy is required. Traditional police metrics have a narrow focus on crime and the police response to it. They provide little information on how well police organizations are performing. Importantly, traditional police metrics do not incorporate input from police stakeholders in goal identification, nor do they use specifically designed indicators to assess progress towards achieving these goals. Following an analysis of the criticisms levelled at the use of traditional police metrics, and subsequent attempts to address these issues, we argue that a networked governance approach represents a more promising foundation for undertaking police organizational performance assessment. Such an approach would engage stakeholders more directly in goal identification and performance assessment, and potentially lead to more successful, responsive and accountable policing.

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Crime Science
Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Hodgkinson, T. (Tarah), Caputo, T, & McIntyre, M. (2019). Beyond crime rates and community surveys: A new approach to police accountability and performance measurement. Crime Science, 8(1). doi:10.1186/s40163-019-0108-x