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Community Policing in Switzerland: A Comparative Evaluation Study of the Community Policing Strategies of the Police in Major Swiss Urban Areas

Applicant Kuhn André
Number 122463
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Institut de criminologie et de droit pénal Ecole des Sciences Criminelles ESC Université de Lausanne
Institution of higher education University of Lausanne - LA
Main discipline Legal sciences
Start/End 01.10.2008 - 31.03.2010
Approved amount 70'034.00
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Keywords (6)

Fear of Crime; Community Policing; Impact Evaluation; Crime; Disorder; Process and Impact Evaluation

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
The current research project is an evaluation of community policing efforts in Switzerland's five largest urban areas that aims to assess their effect on neighborhood development and the well-being of these cities' residents.Community policing is both a new philosophy and an organizational strategy that broadens the police mission from a narrow, reactive focus on crime to a mandate to explore creative, proactive solutions for a host of community concerns such as crime, fear of crime, disorder, and overall neighborhood decay. Community policing makes police departments decentralize police services, forge strategic partnerships with other branches of local government, and reorient police patrol, allowing officers to work closely with the people on their beat to address neighborhood problems.In a first step, the study established a detailed overview over the organizational and strategic reforms the police departments in Switzerland's five largest urban areas have undertaken to implement community policing. In a second, step the study employed quantitative analyses of standing survey instruments, namely the Swiss Crime Survey, to assess the impact of community policing on feelings of safety, neighborhood disorder, and citizen satisfaction with the police.The study found that between 1994 and 2004, the police departments of Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne, and Zurich have adopted major organizational reforms to implement community policing. The objectives of these reforms generally were to decentralize the provision of basic services and regular patrols, to introduce flatter command structures, to improve internal cooperation between police divisions, and to foster regular contacts between the police agencies, local interest groups, and ordinary citizens. The five police departments ordinarily have established strategic partnerships with other branches of the local government, private organizations, and civil society groups. The survey data analysis revealed that while overall levels of fear of crime have fallen, areas with relatively higher levels of fear have shifted from the urban centers to the peripheries. Popular satisfaction with the police by contrast has been high all along and quite evenly balanced across urban neighborhoods.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
132675 Community Policing in Switzerland: A Comparative Evaluation of the Impact of Community Policing on Neighborhood Development in Major Swiss Urban Areas 01.10.2010 Project funding