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Police-citizen partnerships: Voluntary policing in Sweden

This project examines voluntary citizen participation in policing – voluntary policing – in Sweden, along with the governance of voluntary policing in and through police-citizen partnerships. In many Western-style democracies, recent years have witnessed a general shift of responsibility from state to citizens and civil society, including the responsibility for the society’s security, and local crime prevention partnerships between the police and communities have become more common. The purpose of the project is to explore voluntary citizen participation in policing in Sweden, looking in particular at the governance of voluntary policing in and through police-citizen partnerships. We will focus on the relationships and interdependences between police and citizens, including the efforts by both parties to establish and maintain legitimacy in the eyes of each other and the broader public while maintaining their own autonomy. Two types of voluntary citizen participation in policing in Sweden, demonstrating different types of police-citizen partnerships, are explored; The Volunteers of the Police, a state-sanctioned initiative implemented within the boundaries of the police organization, and Missing People Sweden, a purely civic initiative forming a search-and-rescue group, working to find missing people and discover potential evidence of crime. The main research questions are: How is citizen participation in policing governed in and through police-citizen partnerships? How are issues of autonomy, authority, legitimacy, and accountability negotiated? What are the consequences of the inclusion of citizens (laymen) in policing activities for the increasingly heterogenic field of policing?

Project leader: Sara Uhnoo
Project member: Cecilia Hansen Löfstrand
Funding body: The Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society

Page Manager: Anders Östebo|Last update: 10/7/2016
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