Change in policing systems : a systems perspective of the processes and management of change in police organisations
Neighbourhood Policing (N.P.) was first described and presented in two undergraduate theses at the City University, London. An experimental system was designed to test the N.P. propositions and implementation of evaluated trials followed at selected London and Surrey police divisions between 1982 and 1986. From this origin, the Metropolitan and Surrey Police organisations developed their present geographical policing systems. The duration of the change process exceeded ten years from specification to widespread and effective implementation of the N.P. principles. The period of change is argued to be associated with the process and management of change in police organisations, rather than features of the N.P. project itself. It is argued that design of the N.P. system was an appropriate and practical derivation of an accurate systems analysis of the policing 'problem situation'. Change in police organisations is the focus of this research, using the N.P. project as an empirical study. A systems based, multidisciplinary approach is adopted to review the N.P. project and evaluations, as well as to analyse the nature of organisational change in the context of policing systems. Chapter One introduces the subject and specifies the research objectives. Chapters Two and Three describe details of the policing environment, the N.P. concepts, the elements of the policing system and the N.P. systems evaluation concept. Chapter Four reviews the project evaluation material and advances a critical analysis of the findings. Chapters Five, Six and Seven analyse the process of change within policing systems, examining both organisational issues and human characteristics. Heuristic models of the processes, dynamics and complexity of change are proposed. Chapter eight concludes that the systems approach, the systems analysis and the systemic design of N.P. are all appropriate to contemporary policing. The implementation processes and the subsequent evaluations of N.P. are argued to have made less than adequate contributions to the successful achievement of major organisational change. The research concludes by advancing a number of principles for change management in police organisations.