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Governance, accountability and neighbourhood policing in Northern Ireland : analysing the role of public meetings

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  • Political Science
  • Politikwissenschaft
  • Political Process
  • Elections
  • Political Sociology
  • Political Culture
  • Politische Willensbildung
  • Politische Soziologie
  • Politische Kultur
  • Political Science


"In Northern Ireland’s move from conflict to peace, policing has remained close to the top of the political agenda. As part of the peace process, the Independent Commission on Policing (ICP) reported in 1999, and since its publication policing structures in Northern Ireland have undergone considerable reform. One of the threads of the ICP was to introduce a more nodal or networked approach to the delivery of policing that included the establishment of partnership policing structures. Against this backdrop, this article evaluates the use of the recently established Partners and Communities Together (PACT) public meetings in their role as a tool in re-shaping the parameters police accountability in Northern Ireland. The model is explicitly promoted as fostering a more nodal approach to local police decision making by engaging with a more diverse range of groups and harnessing the knowledge of local agencies to solve crime and disorder problems. Therefore, enhancing the accountability and legitimacy of the PSNI at the local level. In these contexts, the article utilises data taken from fieldwork undertaken at these public meetings and critically considers their role as forums where communities bring low level disorder issues that are affecting their neighbourhood to the attention of the PSNI, and whether they help solve these issues in partnership. The article therefore offers an examination of the role of public meetings and the PACT model itself." [author's abstract]

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