Epistemic public criminology: The fallacies of evidence-based policing

Hope, Tim (2021). Epistemic public criminology: The fallacies of evidence-based policing. In: Daems, Tom and Pleysier, Stefaan eds. Criminology and Democratic Politics. Routledge Advances in Criminology. Routledge, pp. 163–183.

URL: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.432...

Abstract

There is now widespread agreement amongst theorists and commentators that there has been a sea-change in the culture of crime control since the 1970s. New paradigms and sensibilities about the institutions of criminal justice have arisen, not least amongst those scholars who concern themselves with questions to do with the institution of statutory policing. The interplay between scientific epistemology and political intelligence continues to provide a backdrop to the contemporary public engagements of criminology. The theory of evidence-based policing assumes that there is a correct, objective analysis of risk that is superior to the knowledge police might otherwise use to resolve their information dilemmas. Community-based policing ‘capitalizes on the resources of communities to identify and control crime’ and rests upon the idea that citizens can be enlisted to help ‘co-produce’ community safety. The fallacies of evidence-based policing arise through errors resulting from the kind of reasoning that wants to find the evidence to confirm the conclusions it has already reached.

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